The Ultimate WhatsApp Guide for ISVs (Integration Software Vendors)

All you need to know to create and manage WhatsApp Business Profiles for your customers with tyntec.

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Introduction

Would you like to add WhatsApp to your platform, but don't know where to start?

Answer all your questions with tyntec's WhatsApp Guide for ISV Partners.

💪 Ready to get started? Contact us for a partnership

🤝 Check our partner directory to learn more

Why WhatsApp for SaaS and technology companies

WhatsApp is a huge opportunity for software and other technology companies to differentiate in the marketplace. Become an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) Partner to integrate the WhatsApp Business API via tyntec in your platform.

If you’re still unconvinced how WhatsApp is a game-changer, here are a few stats and trends:

  • 2 billion active monthly users in 180 countries send 100M messages a day.
  • 70% of WhatsApp users check it daily.
  • 175M people message a WhatsApp Business account every day.

Also, people prefer to message businesses on WhatsApp for:

  • A personal connection: 64% of users agreed that WhatsApp fosters a personal connection to businesses.
  • More confidence: 65% feel more confident messaging businesses vs. sending an email.
  • Easy communication: 68% call WhatsApp the easiest method of contacting a company.
  • Greater trust: 71% feel more confident about a business after messaging on WhatsApp.

At the same time, this is why companies also love WhatsApp:

  • 225% faster customer service (GlobeAir)
  • 99.4% reduced time to complete an order as the entire process (Source.One)
  • 60% cost reduction with fewer paper statements delivered (Tarjeta Plan Platino) 
  • 21% increase in net promoter score (TRADEofficer)

WhatsApp is THE channel where end-users want to talk to brands.

Let’s get started and grow together 🚀

WhatsApp Business API Overview

WhatsApp Business API provides a programming interface for enterprises to connect at scale with end-users.

Whatsapp Overview

With the WhatsApp Business API powered by tyntec, you can:

  • Leverage WhatsApp through your company’s platform for your enterprise customers.
  • Option to verify account (green checkmark).
  • Expand to other messaging channels, incl. SMS, Viber, WeChat (beta), and Telegram (beta). 
  • Update your customers’ profiles with the Profile API

Submit and manage your customers’ message templates with the Message Template API.

⭐ Resources worth your time

Leverage tyntec’s Conversations API  into your enterprise stack with:

Use cases: how your customers use WhatsApp

How do businesses leverage WhatsApp? Check essential use cases throughout the customer journey:

  • Discovery: promotional messages, guided shopping, product recommendations, inbound marketing.

  • Purchase: payment links, order confirmation, and fulfillment.

  • Customer retention: service, loyalty, feedback, upselling.

Check industry-specific use cases for retail and eCommerce and financial services and insurance.

Retail and eCommerce

Business-initiated notifications

●      Order confirmations
● 
    Purchase receipts
● 
    Delivery notifications
● 
    Delivery tracking.

Business-initiated notifications

User-initiated

●      Return or refund request
● 
    Order update or change
● 
    Product availability request
● 
    Billing or product service inquiry.

User-initiated

Financial services and insurance

Business-initiated

●      Fee notice
● 
    Reaching credit limit alert
● 
    Two-factor authentication
● 
    Appointment reminder
● 
    Transaction approval
● 
    Policy change.

Business-initiated

User-initiated

●      Statement request
●      Loan balance inquiry
● 
    Credit limit inquiry
● 
    Lost/stolen card reporting
● 
    Account-related service request.

User-initiated

⭐ Resources worth your time

 How to use WhatsApp & co. in:

WhatsApp Business API Profile overview

You need a WhatsApp Business Profile to communicate with customers in a scalable manner. All business accounts are encrypted by default and provide instant brand recognition.

There are two different business account types for WhatsApp Business Profile:

  • Standard Business Account
  • Official Business Account (also known as verified badge or green checkmark).

Depending on your business account type, users will see different things. If a user has saved the business number in the address book, the company display name will appear. 

The phone number remains visible in the contacts view. Prepare beforehand how to handle incoming calls from users calling this number.

Companies onboarded will always start with a standard business account. Notable companies can apply for the official business account for greater brand recognition.

ℹ️ Not every WhatsApp ISV Partner will be eligible for verified badges. We always recommend to try out. Please note that approvals are at Facebook's discretion.

Before onboarding: WhatsApp Business API Policies

WhatsApp Business guidelines regulate how and who can use the platform. Before selling WhatsApp, make yourself familiar with such policies.

That said, let’s explore the Business and Commerce Policies for WhatsApp:

The Business Policy provides guidance related to the user experience and main elements of the WhatsApp Business Profile and messaging.

  • Business profile: a company commits to keeping its WhatsApp Business profile accurate and up-to-date.

  • Opt-in: To initiate a WhatsApp message to a person, you must first receive their opt-in permission. See Opt-in Tutorial for more information.

  • Business initiated chats: a company may only initiate chats via approved message templates. 
  • User-initiated chats: If a person initiates a chat with a company, it may continue that conversation via WhatsApp for up to 24 hours after the last message sent to the company by that person without charge or message templates. 
  • Automation: the company must have direct escalation paths to human agents in case automation is used. 
  • Opt-outs: the company must respect all requests by a person to block, discontinue, or otherwise opt-out of communications from you via WhatsApp. 

 

The Commerce Policy provides guidance related to terms, taxes, transaction processing, and what industries are allowed or forbidden to use WhatsApp. 

 

Here’s an overview of forbidden industries and use cases:

  • Illegal products and services

  • Drugs, whether prescription, recreational or otherwise

  • Tobacco items and related paraphernalia
  • Alcohol
  • Unsafe ingestible supplements (e.g. anabolic steroids, human growth hormones)
  • Weapons, ammunition, or explosives
  • Animals (except products for animals, e.g. cages, collars, and veterinary services, etc.)
  • Adult products and services 
  • Body parts and fluids
  • Medical and healthcare products (except lifestyle and fitness accessories)
  • Items or products with overtly sexualized positioning
  • Real money gambling services
  • Dating services
  • Products or items that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media
  • Digital and subscription services, incl. links to or processing or any subscription and sales, renewals, or upgrades 
  • Business models, goods, items, or services that we determine may be or are fraudulent, misleading, offensive, or deceptive (e.g. multi level marketing)
  • Real, virtual, or fake currency
  • Third-party infringement (e..g. Counterfeit products). 

Creating a WhatsApp Business Profile for your customer

The WhatsApp setup process requires that tyntec, as the WhatsApp provider, collects basic information including the company name, display name, phone number, etc., in order to set up the account.

Currently, the onboarding is managed via a shared Google-Sheet between tyntec and the ISV partner, where all the enterprise customers are listed with their current onboarding status. Also, this is the place where ISV partners can input the customer information to initiate onboarding. 

To simplify the WhatsApp setup for ISV clients, however, we removed some of the information for the setup (such as Brand in Review, Display name in review), enabling ISVs to update this later via the Profile API or via your tyntec account.

Prerequisite:

Create your own tyntec account is necessary to: 

  • Collect the API keys to associate your customer accounts with your ISV
  • Get financial and traffic reports 
  • Message template management 
  • Profile management
  • Online payment.

ℹ️ Learn how to use your tyntec account here.

Now, let’s get to the specifics of ISV onboarding in 4 steps. 

Step 1: Add customer information on Google-Sheet 

First, you have to add information about your client in your dedicated ISV spreadsheet:

  • Facebook Business Manager ID: this is how to find it.
  • Legal Entity Name
  • WABA Name: this is the name that will be shown in your WhatsApp Business Account (display name). 
  • Phone Number (in international format): you can choose a mobile, landline, or toll-free number.
  • Adding a new phone number to an existing WABA? (yes/no)
  • Activation method (SMS, voice, or IVR): please choose how the verification code should be delivered.
  • API account (for ex. company1cpaas): In your my.tyntec.com account you can generate API accounts unique to each of your WABAs.

Step 2: accept 'approve on behalf' notification

Once you have completed your client's information on your ISV spreadsheet, we will start the WhatsApp setup.

This will trigger a notification on your client's Facebook Business Manager to approve tyntec on your Facebook Business Manager. Your client will have to access the Facebook Business Manager and accept that notification in order to proceed.

Step 3: business verification

The next step (status: business verification required) is to complete the Verification Process for their Business.

In this step, Facebook/WhatsApp look at authenticity (is the business legally registered?) and association (does the person requesting verification work for the business?).

Once these steps have been completed, Facebook/WhatsApp will verify the brand (status Brand in review) and the display name (status display name verification). At this stage, there's no action needed from you or your client here.

Step 4: Phone verification

When both have been approved (status: Ready for activation) we can trigger the verification code to your number (status: Code sent out).

Verification code should be sent to onboarding@tyntec.com or added to your ISV Google-Sheet under the column ‘2FA code’. 

If the phone number is not SMS enabled, you would need to set up a time when the verification call is made. If the phone number is behind an IVR, please get in touch with the WhatsApp Team to request sender IDs as you would need to set up IVR deflection for the activation.

Finally, after the code is sent back to us, the WhatsApp Business Profile is provisioned and ready to be used (status: Registered).

⭐ Resources worth your time

How to check the status of each client

App to API migration

It’s common that enterprise customers to start using WhatsApp with the consumer or business app before upgrading to the API. if that’s the case for your customer, there’s a migration process designed for this case and supported by tyntec. 

Any incoming messages after deleting the WhatsApp account on your Android or iPhone are queued by the WhatsApp servers and delivered upon a successful registration. 

Follow these steps to deactivate the WhatsApp app:

Step 1: In your customer’s Facebook Business Manager, add the phone number that is already registered in the Android, iPhone, or Business application versions of WhatsApp.

Step 2: Assign a display name to your phone number, following the display name guidelines. Submit it for review by the WhatsApp team. You will be notified when your customer’s display name is approved.

⚠️ Note: You can't download a certificate if your WhatsApp account on your Android or iPhone is still active.

Step 3: Open the WhatsApp (or WhatsApp Business) application on your Android or iPhone.

Step 4: Navigate to the Settings page.

Step 5: Select Account.

Step 5

Step 6: Select Delete my account.

Step 6 - Delete my account

Step 7: Follow the steps to delete the WhatsApp account for that phone number. It may take up to 3 minutes for the disconnected number to become available. Continue to Step 8 after 3 minutes have passed.

Step 7 - Follow the steps

Step 8: Once the phone number has been released, our Onboarding team will send you a verification code via SMS or phone call to register your phone number to the API.

When you register the number, you start receiving any incoming messages received after you deleted your WhatsApp account (step 6).

After you migrate your number to the API, you will no longer be able to use the WhatsApp Business App with that number.

⚠️ Note that if your customer does not perform a backup, you will also lose chat history.

Resources worth your time

In case your customer is unsure if migrating your phone number from the app to the API is the right call: check the 9 top signs when you should consider migration from app to API.

BSP migration

Do you work with another WhatsApp provider and wish to migrate accounts to tyntec - without changing the phone number or downtime? We can help! 

Your customers can transfer their WhatsApp Profile to tyntec’s top-rated API while keeping the account intact:
 

✔️ Phone number, display name, quality rating, and messaging limits are transferred

✔️ Official business account status is kept

✔️ Approved high-quality message templates are also migrated. 

 

The BSP migration process works in just 4 steps: 

  1. Go to your Google-Sheet and add the customer information. Fill out the column Migration from another BSP.
  2. You must confirm to tyntec that your existing BSP (‘source WABA’) has lifted the 2FA code from the phone number.
  3. tyntec will perform migration API calls made to the endpoint with the destination WABA’s ID. 
  4. You would receive a six-digit code via SMS or voice call and send it back to tyntec. 

That’s it! The WhatsApp Profile has been successfully migrated to tyntec 🎉

Official business accounts (OBA)

As mentioned in the WhatsApp Business API Profile overview, every new WhatsApp Business Profile starts as a standard business account. Applying for an official business account is optional and available usually for notable companies. 

The decision on whether a company gets an official business account is entirely on Facebook. tyntec merely collects the information and facilitates the process. 


Recommendations: 

  • We advise our ISV partners to apply for an OBA, as having the verified badge can help in the sales process. 
  • For your customers, we also facilitate the process in liaison with Facebook. We strongly recommend that you as a partner do not promise that a customer will certainly get an OBA, as we cannot guarantee the outcome of your customer’s application. 
  • In addition, when applying for an official business account, provide as much information as possible to prove your company (or your enterprise customer) is a notable business with media mentions, awards, etc.

Resources worth your time

Official business account application

Appeals

Sometimes companies are rejected after business verification.

In most cases, these are rejections for administrative reasons (for example, a document sent wrongly). When that happens, we can file an appeal with Facebook to review the information and approve the customer. For this, information is required such as type of use of messages, more information about the company, etc.


If the company in question belongs to an industry banned by WhatsApp, the rejection decision is final.

✉️ Our Onboarding team is responsible for entering and managing the resources through Facebook. If you have any customers who need to file an appeal, just contact onboarding@tyntec.com

Deactivations

For inactive customers or customers who are undecided about using WhatsApp, it is possible to deactivate the account temporarily.

✉️ You can request deactivation by sending an email to onboarding@tyntec.com

Message Types overview

Once your customer account has been registered, it’s time to start messaging!

There are two types of messages when using WhatsApp for business communications:  company-initiated messages (message templates) and user-initiated messages (session or chat messages): 


Company-initiated messages (message templates)

Used by a company to initiate conversations with users, message templates are preformatted, non-editable messages reviewed and approved by WhatsApp.

Ideal for:

  • Notifications, e.g., appointment reminders, shipping updates
  • Non-transactional, e.g., promotional messages
  • Customer re-engagement, follow-ups.

 Let’s get down to the specifics of message templates in the next section! 💬💬💬

 

User-initiated messages (session or chat messages)

When a user initiates a message (or responds to a company-initiated message), the 24-hour support window opens. During this time, a company can communicate with the user without an approved message template or opt-in.

Ideal for:

  • Customer service
  • Clienteling
  • Other high interaction use cases. 

Note that during the support window, WhatsApp fees are not applicable. 

How to create Message Templates

Companies that wish to start a conversation with a customer need message templates. Customers connected to ISVs also need to submit message templates for approval, which is handled by tyntec. 

#1 - What are message templates?

Message templates are standardized messages that businesses can send to customers, such as appointment reminders, shipping information, issue resolutions, payment updates, and more. Message templates can only be sent to customers who have opted-in and have to be approved by WhatsApp.

There are 3 types of message templates:

  • Text-based: send a message with text only.
  • Media-based: send a message with an image, video, document, etc.
  • Interactive: buttons that facilitate a user response.
Message Templates

#2 - Can companies send a message template with promotional content?

Yes. Non-transactional (aka marketing) message templates are available globally. The submission process is the same as any other message template. 

#3 - How can I create a message template?

Get to know the elements message templates are composed of: 

  • For text-only message templates, all you need is body text. 
  • For media message templates, you can use all the elements at your disposal, including a header caption for your media, footer text, and interactive buttons. 

#4 - Is there anything else I should know about creating media message templates?

Yes! In addition to requiring approval for your message template by sending a sample of your media component, you need to integrate a code to enable the content types you wish to send a media message template. 

#5 - How can I submit my customers’ message templates for approval? 

You can use the following options:

  • Message Template API: self-service API to get current and request new templates, etc. It takes ca. 15 minutes for approval. Check the API 

Message Template Manager on tyntec's customer portal (my.tyntec.com): web interface to submit and manage Message Templates. It may take 2-3 business days for approval. Check instructions

Content types overview

Businesses and users can share more than text with WhatsApp! A wide range of content types is available, including images, documents, videos, audio files, and buttons.

Note that adding media to your messages is NOT charged extra. 

Check what is supported via tyntec’s API for WhatsApp Business to pimp up your messages 😎

Content-type Send in message templates Send in session messages Incoming messages
Text ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Images ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Documents ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Audios ✔️ ✔️
Videos ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Locations ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Interactive buttons: call-to-action ✔️
Interactive buttons: quick replies ✔️
Interactive buttons: reply buttons ✔️
List messages ✔️
Stickers ✔️ ✔️

⭐ Resources worth your time

 All you need to know about Content types

Quality Rating & Messaging Limits

Every WhatsApp Business profile is constantly monitored and therefore assigned to a quality rating and respective messaging limits.

Quality Rating and Messaging Limits

Quality Rating

The quality rating of each WhatsApp business account shows the message quality users received in the past 24 hours. The phone number status can be: 

  • Pending: the phone number hasn't been approved yet.
  • Connected: the phone number is online and functioning normally.
  • Offline: the phone number is currently not reachable.

Under the Quality Rating column, there are three different quality states:

  • Green: High quality
  • Yellow: Medium quality
  • Red: Low quality

Suppose the Quality Rating reaches a low state or your phone number status changes. In that case, the customer will receive an email and notification in Business Manager as a warning, and its status will change to Flagged or Restricted.

  • Flagged status occurs when the quality rating reaches a low state. If the message quality improves to a high or medium state and maintains this for 7 days, the status will return to Connected. If the quality rating doesn't improve, the status will still return to Connected, but the account is placed in a lower messaging limit tier.
  • Restricted status occurs when the account reaches the messaging limit. During a Restricted phase, the account cannot send any notification messages until the 24-hour window is reset. The account can still respond to any messages users initiate.

These ratings indicate how WhatsApp views your business’ conversation quality. To avoid getting a number blocked or being reported by contacts, companies have to ensure they are sending only high-quality Message Templates.

When blocked, the phone number quality rating will drop from high (green) to medium (yellow) or low (red). Consequently, the phone number will be moved to a Flagged status when the number quality rating is low (red).

Once it improves to medium or high in 7 days, the phone number status will return to Connected. If the quality rating does not improve in 7 days, WhatsApp will still reinstate the status to Connected but impose a lower messaging limit on the phone number.

Messaging Limits

Messaging limits define how many unique users the business can send messages to daily.

In summary, WhatsApp imposes three tiers of messaging limits on businesses:

  • Starts - Tier 1: Allows your business to send messages to 1K unique contacts in a rolling 24-hour period.
  • Then - Tier 2: Allows your business to send messages to 10K unique contacts in a rolling 24-hour period.
  • Finally - Tier 3: Allows your business to send messages to 100K unique contacts in a rolling 24-hour period.

Note that the messaging limit does NOT:

  • Limit the number of messages the business can send, just the number of users the company tries to message. 
  • Apply to messages sent in response to a user-initiated message within 24 hours.

Note that businesses can upgrade their phone number to the next tier if their quality rating is not low.

If a business reaches the daily messaging limit, the business will receive error code 471 when attempting to send a message template.

⭐ Resources worth your time

Best Practices & Guidelines

Companies that wish to use the WhatsApp Business API need to be aware of key guidelines, such as opt-ins, human escalation, marketing entry points, and more.

Collect Opt-ins

As stated in the Business Policy, a company can initiate a WhatsApp message only to a user that has opted-in (or given permission to receive a message). 

Follow the Opt-In guideline:

✔️ Communicate the value of receiving essential updates on WhatsApp.

✔️ Be explicit about the types of messages a customer is opting into.

✔️ Collect an active opt-in (customer must actively show their consent by entering/editing a phone number or checking a box)

✔️ Opt-ins can be obtained via SMS, website form, in a WhatsApp thread, etc.

⭐ Resources worth your time

Tutorial for Opt-Ins

Escalation from bot to agent

WhatsApp requires that companies automating conversations with chatbots provide human escalation options to the user.

Some acceptable escalation methods include human agent handoff, phone number, email, web support form, and prompting in-store visits. However, indirect channels such as social media, a help center webpage, or a link to an app do not meet this requirement.

Human Escalation

How WhatsApp enforces this policy:

  • Businesses without a valid human escalation path may receive a low (red) phone number quality rating.
  • Enforcement has started with clients that send less than 1,000 notifications but will expand to all clients in December.
  • If you do not create a valid human escalation path after receiving our notice, we may lower the messaging limit for that business phone number.

If your business number is flagged for not having a human escalation path, you will be advised by email and a notification from the Business Manager.

Entry Points

In-the-know companies are ready to leverage WhatsApp and need a strategy to let their customers know this new channel is available for every step of the customer journey. From conversation starter buttons on their website to product packaging in local supermarkets, companies can get creative about letting their customers know that they can use WhatsApp to converse with them.

Managing your accounts with tyntec’s customer dashboard

tyntec’s customer dashboard (my.tyntec.com) offers ISV partners a management tool for WhatsApp. You can set up your own account in your dashboard, test it and make it productive.

All you have to do is create your account. Your account will be verified with a 2FA code sent to your mobile phone via SMS or voice call.

For subsequent access, you can log in here.

This is what you can do with the customer dashboard: 

  • Collect the API keys to associate your customer accounts with your company
  • Manage your customers’ WhatsApp profiles
  • Submit and manage message templates on your customers’ behalf
  • Get financial and traffic reports
  • Pay online via credit card
  • Get your invoices online
  • Manage your tyntec users
  • Try out other tyntec products. 

In this section, we’ll dive deeper into WhatsApp-related features to help you manage your accounts. 

 

Collect your API Key

When creating a new WhatsApp account for your customer, you have to connect it to your ISV account, making sure your accounts are connected, so we can bill your customers according to your ISV pricing. 

Once you have a tyntec account, all you have to do is click on API Settings and then on the button New API key at the top. You can generate API accounts unique to each of your WhatsApp accounts.

Viber - API Settings

Manage your customers’ WhatsApp profiles

A WhatsApp business profile is not set in stone. It can be changed and updated whenever needed. With tyntec, you can keep your customers’ profiles up-to-date via the dashboard, under Profiles:

Whatsapp Profiles

⭐ Resources worth your time 

Check how to update your customers’ profiles on the tyntec customer dashboard   following these instructions

Do you prefer a self-service API? Use the WhatsApp Profile API instead. 

Submit and manage message templates on your customers’ behalf

You can submit and manage message templates on your customers’ behalf on your tyntec account under the Message Templates tab.

Whatsapp Templates

⭐ Resources worth your time 

Check how to submit and manage your customers’ message templates on the tyntec customer dashboard following these instructions

Do you prefer a self-service API? Use the WhatsApp Message Template API instead. 

Get financial and traffic reports

You can find an overview of your financial information related to service and message fees on my.tyntec.com.

Once accessing the WhatsApp tab at the left, you will see a menu at the top. Click on Reporting and will see the financial reports for your business(es) for any chosen timeframe.

Invoicing and Payments

By the 10th day of the month, we send you an invoice for charges related to the previous month, which includes your monthly fee and your message fees. 

As an ISV partner, you get a consolidated invoice with all of your active WhatsApp customers. In the financial reports available on your tyntec dashboard, you can break down the information per customer and fee type (e.g. tyntec fees and WhatsApp message fees).
 

You can pay your invoice in two ways: 

  • You can pay your invoice on my.tyntec.com, and also top up your credits to send WhatsApp messages. Just proceed to Finance and then Online Payments. Please note that we do not collect money automatically.
  • Alternatively, pay your invoice via bank transfer (details are in every invoice).

Under the Finance tab on your tyntec account, you can access all of your previous invoices by clicking on Invoices. Under Actions, you can download your invoices in .xls and .csv. 


Last but not least, we do not charge the following:

  • Inactive customers that haven’t sent a message throughout an invoice period
  • Deactivated customers. 

Please note we do not charge per day or per week.

Getting started is easy

There are different ways an ISV partner can start with WhatsApp powered by tyntec. 

If you’re interested in becoming an ISV but not yet sure how WhatsApp can benefit your business,  you can first create your own WhatsApp Profile and test it out with 1,500 complimentary messages. Create an account

If you’re up to becoming an ISV partner now,  contact us for a partnership

Top 10 resources worth your time!