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WhatsApp Business API | Account Information & Get Started

With more than 1.5 billion people using WhatsApp around the world to send 60 billion messages every day, the chat app has revolutionized the way we communicate. With an enterprise-grade API, companies can now send notifications and provide customer service through WhatsApp in a secure, reliable, and customer-friendly way.

WhatsApp Business API Overview

Thanks largely to WhatsApp’s encryption technology and advertising-free user experience, WhatsApp has become today’s most popular way for consumers to have private conversations with their friends and family.  Building on that consumer trust, WhatsApp has launched its Business API to provide the same level of security and experience to their users even when they choose to chat with businesses right on the same channel.

For businesses, the WhatsApp Business API presents a unique opportunity to engage and help customers with relevant notifications, updates, confirmations and support communications in a secure and familiar environment. Furthermore, with WhatsApp, businesses can also automate responses and integrate into their existing customer engagement systems (CRM, contact center, etc.) to speed up problem resolution – and keep customers happy.

At the same time, there are businesses that prefer handling WhatsApp conversations differently, or perhaps do not have developer resources to handle an integration. When this is the case, tyntec's Support Inbox may be a better fit. As a web-based User Interface, the Support Inbox enables you to orchestrate and manage chat conversations in a simple inbox.

WhatsApp and tyntec Infrastructure

tyntec’s customers can access the WhatsApp Business API via tyntec’s Conversations API – a powerful and simple way to access multiple messaging services when needed, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and SMS.

With tyntec’s Conversations API, businesses can send conversational notifications and support messages — and receive replies — without switching to a new software solution or UI.

 

WhatsApp Architechture

 

 

WhatsApp API Client Hosting

As an official WhatsApp Business solution provider, we eliminate the operational overhead of running your own WhatsApp network integration, which would require hosting, scaling, maintaining, monitoring, and troubleshooting WhatsApp software, clients, and third party databases into your own cloud infrastructure. With tyntec you’ll have access to:

  • tyntec’s REST API for WhatsApp Business
  • Value-added features for security and more
  • Hosting and scaling
  • Maintenance and updates
  • Business-to-consumer communications know-how
  • Access to other chat channels (Viber, Facebook Messenger, SMS)

 

WhatsApp Client Hosting

 

How you integrate the WhatsApp Business API depends heavily on your customer touchpoint strategy and technology resources. Explore your options by getting in touch with tyntec, an official WhatsApp Business Solution provider.

WhatsApp Business Account

How to Request Access

To make is simpler for enterprises to use the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp has chosen to work through authorized solution providers instead of direct integration. Therefore, the process starts with requesting the access to one of the authorized providers like tyntec.

To apply, fill out tyntec's request access form here.

TIP: If you’re a technology provider/ISV requesting the access on behalf of your enterprise customers, note that each of your enterprise customers will need an individual WABA. Most technology providers get started by registering their own company to test the product and showcase it to their customers. If your enterprise customers are ready to get started, you can itemize each customer on your form for WhatsApp approval.

Also, the onboarding and billing processes for ISVs are different from a direct enterprise. Please contact us at sales@tyntec.com for more information.

Setting Up and Activating Your Account

Once your brand has been approved by WhatsApp, it’s time to set up your WhatsApp Business Account, and complete the activation with two-factor authentication — and get ready to exchange messages on WhatsApp!

tyntec guides you through the entire WhatsApp Business Account process and makes it even easier for you with a comprehensive checklist.

Prep your Setup

For your convenience, tyntec sets up and configures your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA). To proceed, we need information about your business, including your Facebook Business Manager ID, phone number, API key name, etc. This information will be added later to tyntec's Set Up form.

Here's the information you need to prepare:

  • Get your API Key: to associate your future WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) with tyntec, we need to know your API key name. Create an account in tyntec’s Business Center, check “API settings” at the left side menu and collect your API key and your API key name.
  • Facebook Business Manager ID: Check here how to get it.
  • Phone number: you have to provide a new, valid phone number at this stage. You also need to identify whether this phone number is capable of receiving SMS or whether it’s associated with an IVR. Check the guidelines on how to choose a phone number.
  • Display information: define your business name, business description, address, brand image and more. This is the information shown in your WhatsApp Business Profile.
  • Webhook URLs (optional): define the webhook URLs for incoming messages and delivery notifications.
  • Choose your pricing plan: define your package according to your needs. Check our available pricing packages.

Set Up Your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA)

Once your brand has been validated to continue, you will receive an email with instructions on how to set up your WhatsApp Business Account and how to configure your WABA.

Upon submission, you’ll receive a confirmation that the information has been received by tyntec and submitted to WhatsApp. In case there’s any issue, we’ll inform you accordingly.

Approve tyntec on your Facebook Business Manager

Once approved, please accept the approval for "message on behalf of" on your Facebook Business Manager.

Please note you need admin access to see the “message on behalf of” and accept this request on your Facebook Business Manager.

This is how it looks like:

message on behalf request large

Business verification

Business verification allows Facebook/WhatsApp to identify real businesses on the platform and give them access to the features they need, as the WhatsApp does not have visibility to business-to-user conversations due to encryption. Hence, it’s important to make sure all companies are verified, making sure Facebook/WhatsApp remains a safe space for businesses and users alike.

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

You have to proceed to business verification directly on your Facebook Business Manager. Here are the steps you need to follow to get your business verified.

For more information on business verification, check our comprehensive FAQs on business verification.

 

Phone verification

As your WABA needs to be associated with a phone number, your phone number must be verified. To do this, tyntec will perform two-factor authentication by sending a verification code to the number you provided. Upon verification, your account will be activated — and ready for your deployment!

To ensure that the verification process goes smoothly, tyntec will contact you in advance to make sure that your team is ready to respond to the verification.

 

Your WhatsApp Business Account is ready!

After your phone number has been verified, your WhatsApp Business Solution is ready! If you haven't yet integrated our API, check out our API reference and start deploying with ease.

It's highly recommended to test internally before rolling out to your customers, and of course making sure your opt-in policy in place.

But wait, have you collected opt-ins yet? If you haven’t, let’s get going. Would you like to learn how other brands are doing it? Some inspirations here

Send your first message

Check here instructions on how to send your first message.

Build Two-Way WhatsApp Interaction Tutorial

Check instructions how to handle two-way communications on WhatsApp. Check the tutorial.

 

Message Templates

You can add your first message templates after receiving the instructions via email during your setup for your WABA. After your setup you can always submit new Message Templates  via this form or via the Message Templates API.

You’ll also receive a confirmation from tyntec that your message templates have been approved. In case they are rejected by WhatsApp, we will guide you on how to create messages that are compliant to WhatsApp policies.

When using Message Template API, you get the following benefits: 

  • The templates are synched with WhatsApp automatically (due to restrictions on the Facebook API this can't  be done synchronously)
  • The templates are pushed and pulled by two different jobs and both jobs are configured to run alternating every 5 minutes. This ensures that a template requested via our API is approved right after the submission.

This means, submitting message templates is faster and you get a quicker feedback for approved/rejected status (in 15 minutes latest). In contrast with the message template form, this can take 2-3 business days.

For more information on how to create message templates, have a look here.

Accounts

To run your customer interactions on WhatsApp Business API, you must be seen as a WhatsApp Business Account (also known as WABA). There are two types of WhatsApp Business Accounts:

Types of WhatsApp Business Accounts
Name Description
Official Business Account WhatsApp has verified that an authentic brand owns this account. An Official Business Account has a green checkmark badge in its profile and next to the header in the chat thread. The name of the business is visible even if the user hasn't added the business to their address book, and will be visible in the chat list, chat screens, chat groups, and contacts view instead of the phone number.
Business Account Any account that is using the WhatsApp Business API is by default a Business Account. The verified brand name will only be shown, in smaller text, in the contacts view; all other views will show the phone number. You can help customers learn more about your company by filling out your business info, including business website, address, and hours.

Depending on your WhatsApp Business Account type, end users will see your account differently. However for both types of accounts, if an end user has already saved the company’s number in their address book, the name from their address book will always be displayed — also, the company phone number will still be visible in their contact view. Please be prepared for any customers who may try to call this number and have a plan for how to handle these incoming calls.

While it’s not mandatory to have a verified WABA, this status provides an enhanced user experience and improves consumer trust. A verified WABA is marked by a green checkmark, and the company name will always be shown even if the customer did not save the brand’s phone number in their phonebook. A business can also provide useful information, including the purpose of the account, business hours, website, etc.

How to Request a Verified WhatsApp Business Account

You can request an “official business account” for your end clients, which triggers a review process. We review requests by verifying that a business is a real entity and evaluating a company’s notability.

Businesses that are approved for an “official business account” will receive a green, verified badge on their Business Profile. Please note that as a solution provider you’ll need to “message on behalf” of the client's Business Manager ID, to be able to request business verification through this process. Any WhatsApp Business Accounts which don't have an end client associated with it will not be reviewed as part of this request.

In case you want to apply for an official WhatsApp Business Account, you can apply with tyntec by filling out the Request Official Business Account form.

At the moment, there are no other benefits to having this verified badge, and companies that are not eligible after going through the review process can continue to run their business as usual on WhatsApp. 

Phone Numbers

A WhatsApp verified account is always linked to a phone number. If you’re currently using WhatsApp for your customer service, you’ll need to provide a new, valid number (you cannot reuse a phone number that’s already used for your WhatsApp registration). The phone number must be owned by the company, and can be a landline, mobile phone, or toll-free (1-800) number. In addition, if you’re already using WhatsApp Business app, you can migrate the same phone number to a WhatsApp Business Account. However, you cannot transfer the phone number used for a private WhatsApp account to a WABA.

Migration

In order to migrate your existing number to WhatsApp, you would have to delete/deactivate your existing account through the business app. Follow the instructions here. 

Before deleting the account, you have to save the history on your end.

Please note that once you have deleted a phone number from the app and added to the API, this action cannot be reverted.

 

Bring My Own Number

You don’t have to buy a phone number from tyntec. If you have your own phone number and prefer to use it, you can certainly do so. Your phone number can be mobile, toll-free, or landline. In some countries, such as Germany, you can even add a two-way SMS and WhatsApp channel to your existing landline number. If you prefer to buy a number from tyntec, please get in touch with us

IVR Deflection

Known as 'call-to-messaging deflection', more and more brands are deploying IVR deflection to WhatsApp Business to enhance their customer support. This shift is increasing customer satisfaction rates and boosting operational efficiency.

IVR deflection enables businesses to shift customer calls to WhatsApp where they may be able to:

  • Provide better service as WhatsApp enables customers to share photos, videos, and other media to share their customer issues
  • Improve agent efficiency by shifting customer issues to WhatsApp where agents can handle more conversations at once
  • Reduce overall costs of customer service phone operations.

Companies that want to use a phone number that is connected to an IVR system need to configure it to receive WhatsApp phone verification code. Because WhatsApp registration calls are unable to navigate an IVR, companies must use a workaround instead. What tyntec does is to send two sender IDs once a company's IVR is configured. You can use this information to create a whitelist for those numbers — so that once the call comes in, you can redirect it to an employee or mailbox where the registration code will be captured.

Check our IVR deflection best practices here.