Wondering how to get WhatsApp Business API? You are in the right place. Even though jumping into WhatsApp API integration can feel daunting, it’s actually not hard at all if you follow the proper guidelines. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to get WhatsApp API for your business, quick and hassle-free.
Introduction to WhatsApp API Integration
WhatsApp Business API is a solution for companies that want multiple-user access to the platform and improved messaging capabilities. Many medium to large businesses are attracted by this idea, and may wonder, is WhatsApp API free?
The answer is no. In order to send and receive messages, businesses need to pay for:
- A phone number for their WhatsApp Business account
- WhatsApp Partner-specific costs
- Messaging inbox costs
- WhatsApp’s conversation-based pricing fees
Plus, with a WhatsApp API integration with a CRM, you can track and monitor agents and send personalized messages with advanced automation. For that purpose, we recommend using respond.io as a WhatsApp CRM.
Before applying for a WhatsApp API account, businesses must ensure they are eligible under the WhatsApp Commerce Policy. For instance, WhatsApp doesn’t allow Medical and Healthcare products to be sold in the platform.
WhatsApp API integration used to be a more complicated process and could take up to several weeks. Now, businesses can get an account and start messaging in less than 10 minutes.
Let’s go through the changes Meta has implemented to make WhatsApp Business API access more convenient for everyone.
How Easy Is It to Get WhatsApp Business API?
Facebook Business verification is no longer compulsory for all businesses, and it’s only required for companies seeking to have more business-initiated conversations or to become an Official Business Account.
Similarly, WhatsApp Policy compliance and display name review are no longer a requirement for businesses to start messaging. The WhatsApp Policy compliance check is triggered automatically in the background after the sign up process, whereas the display name review is only initiated after business verification.
After these changes, getting a WhatsApp API account doesn’t have to be a struggle. The sign up process is as easy as filling up a form with BSPs (business service providers) that support express sign ups. Keep reading to find out why.
How to Get WhatsApp Business API: What is the Best Way?
Getting your WhatsApp API integration done doesn't have to be difficult. This section will introduce you to the different ways of getting a WhatsApp API account. We’ll also guide you through the easiest, fastest way to apply for one.
How to Get WhatsApp Business API Account: Cloud vs On-Premises API
Those looking to use WhatsApp Business API have two hosting options: Cloud API hosted by Meta and on-premises API hosted by BSPs or the businesses themselves. The question is, which one is for you?
WhatsApp Cloud API was released in 2022, allowing businesses to apply for a WhatsApp API account directly through Meta. This has pros and cons, but the major limitation is that Meta doesn't provide a messaging inbox to create a front-end for WhatsApp Cloud API.
On-premises API is the WhatsApp API integration method that BSPs have been supporting since WhatsApp API’s release. This is how to install the WhatsApp Business API Client manually via on-premises API:
- Step 1: Install the WhatsApp Business API Client. At its core, the WhatsApp Business API client is based on Docker.
- Step 2: Start using the client. Once you have the WhatsApp Business API client up and running, you can register your phone number by sending an API call to the account endpoint.
These instructions entail some difficult steps for non-developers, so we recommend businesses apply for a WhatsApp API account through a BSP. It will make the whole journey much simpler, as we’ll explain next.
How to Get WhatsApp Business API Account: Classic vs Embedded Sign Up
BSPs are there to help you get a WhatsApp API account easily. But the complexity of the process will also depend on the sign up method they offer. Generally, BSPs will work with one of the following sign up methods: classic sign up or embedded sign up.
The classic sign up method (also known as On Behalf Of) is a manual application process. This procedure involves multiple back-and-forth actions between the business and the BSP agent, which leads to long waiting times.
In contrast, embedded sign up allows businesses to complete the onboarding process directly by filling out a form on the BSP’s website. It’s a self-service process that doesn’t require the participation of a BSP agent.
Hence, this WhatsApp API integration method significantly reduces the number of steps that both BSPs and businesses need to go through.
So how do you apply for WhatsApp Business API? Getting a WhatsApp API account via embedded sign up generally involves four steps:
- Buy or port a phone number.
- Fill out the WhatsApp Business Account submission form.
- Complete the embedded sign up pop-ups.
- Generate an API Key to connect to your business software.
For a hassle-free onboarding process, we suggest you apply for an account via embedded sign up. You can do it in under 10 minutes with 360dialog’s express sign up. Let’s see how it works.
How to Get WhatsApp Business API the Easy Way: 360dialog WhatsApp API Express Sign Up
To get a WhatsApp Business API account with 360dialog, make sure you have the following:
- Admin access to your Meta Manager Account
- A valid phone number for WhatsApp
- Updated Business Manager profile information
To register for a 360dialog WhatsApp API account, use this sign-up form exclusive only to respond.io users. Then, follow these steps.
1. Click on Connect with 360dialog to start the onboarding process.
Should you already own a verified WhatsApp number and an API Key, paste them into the form and click Done. If that’s not the case, continue reading.
2. Sign up for a 360dialog account.
You’ll be asked to enter your name, email address and password, followed by your payment details. Then, activate your account by entering the verification code you’ve received via email. Once done, log in to 360dialog.
3. Select Continue with Facebook to connect a Meta Business Account.
4. Create a Meta and WhatsApp Business Account.
You’ll need to select a Meta Business Account to connect your WhatsApp Business Account(s). If you don’t have a Meta Business Account, there will be an option to create a new one. Click on Continue when done.
Now it’s time to fill in the name of your WhatsApp API account, which should be your business name. If you are porting a WhatsApp number from one WhatsApp Business Account to another, select an existing WhatsApp Business Account with the associated number. Click on Continue when done.
5. Create your WhatsApp Business profile by adding a WhatsApp Business display name, business category and an optional business description.
6. Verify your WhatsApp Business phone number.
The phone number will be verified with a PIN, so ensure you have access to the number you use. Your number should not be currently used with any WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API accounts.
To use a phone number tied to an existing WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business App account, you’ll first have to delete your account. Click on Send Code when done and verify your phone number. Then, complete the sign up process by clicking on OK.
<call-out> Warning: Using a phone number tied to an existing WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business App account will result in a permanent loss of contacts and messages. <call-out>
7. Return to respond.io. Select the WhatsApp Enabled Number from the list and complete the setup by pressing Done.
After obtaining your WhatsApp API account and connecting it to respond.io, your account will enter the Limited Access Tier. During this time, the WhatsApp Commerce Policy check will be automatically conducted in the background.
WhatsApp immediately blocks accounts that don’t comply with its policy. You can appeal this by submitting a support ticket to your BSP.
From the Limited Access Tier to Tier 1: A Quick Overview
The Limited Access Tier imposes serious limitations for companies that need a large number of business-initiated conversations.
In other words, if you intend to broadcast WhatsApp messages to a large audience, verify your business to upgrade your WhatsApp API account to Tier 1 so you can start business-initiated conversations with 1,000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
To become an Official Business Account, you’ll need to scale your WhatsApp Business Account to Tier 2. This will further increase your messaging limit, allowing you to start business-initiated conversations with 10K unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
After completing the Facebook Business verification process, WhatsApp will review the display names of all phone numbers associated with your account. For a successful verification, make sure that your business display name does not violate the WhatsApp Commerce and Business policies or Display Name Guidelines.
Looking for a WhatsApp Partner that doesn’t break the bank? Here’s our recommended choice: With 360dialog, you’ll only pay $5 a month + WhatsApp fees. Sign up for 360dialog WhatsApp API and start messaging customers in only 10 minutes!
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