WhatsApp Business API Guide


Introduction

Syniverse CPaaS Messaging API now supports access to WhatsApp Business API for Businesses to enable customer engagement via one of the most widely used messaging channels in the world. The WhatsApp Business API channel with access to close to 2 billion active monthly users in over 180 countries is now part of Syniverse’s cloud-based Omni-Channel messaging solution and available via the same API endpoint that you use to consume other channels like for SMS, MMS, Facebook Messenger, Push Notification & WeChat.

Businesses can enable engagement use cases by programmatically sending and receiving WhatsApp messages from their systems (CRM, customer care tools, POS etc.) thereby creating workflows that provides value to the end-users. Integrating and consuming WhatsApp Business API via the Syniverse CPaaS Omni-channel WhatsApp channel is easy and quick.

 

 

 

                                                                                                            

 

 

What can you do with the SCG WhatsApp Business Messaging Channel?

  • Send and receive messages from to and from end-users with a WhatsApp application including text, media and documents
  • Engage your customers in a 24/7 customer care conversational messaging using a chatbot or an application.
  • Send pre-approved templated notification messages to your customers
  • Reach over 2 Billion monthly active end-users in close to 180 countries. Exclusions. The WhatsApp Business Solution may not be used to send any messages to or from the following countries and regions: Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria
  • Engage users on a variety of use cases ranging from OTP, Critical Alert update, Payment update, Shipping update, Issue resolution, Reservation update etc.

 

Key components to using WhatsApp Business API Channel

WhatsApp Business Messaging Channel is currently available to Businesses on the Syniverse CPaaS platform who has executed a WhatsApp Business Messaging Service agreement with Syniverse

What you will need to use WhatsApp Business API

Facebook Business Manager

All Customers must have or be able to create a Facebook Business Manager account and verify it to use WhatsApp Business API. WhatsApp Business API uses your Facebook Business Manager account to identify your business and associate your phone numbers with it. WhatsApp requires all Businesses to submit Business Verification in their Facebook Business Manager account.

For more information on how create a Facebook Business Manager, please see Creating a Facebook Business Manager

WhatsApp Business Account (WABA)

Once you have a Facebook Business Manager Account created and have your Business Manager ID, the next step is to register for a WhatsApp Business account (WABA). Syniverse will assist you with the registration of a WABA.

Types of Business Accounts

There are two types of WhatsApp business accounts:

  • Official Business Account
  • Business Account

Facebook at its sole discretion, decides if a registration is approved for an Official Business Account or as a Business Account. Customers can choose which one of the accounts types they want and submit the necessary details and Syniverse will make every effort to request the account on behalf of the customer.

Please the details below on the differences between an Official Business Account and a regular Business Account:

 

Name

Description

Official Business Account

WhatsApp has verified that an authentic, notable brand owns this account.

An official business account has a green checkmark badge in its profile and chat thread headers. The name of the business is visible even if the user hasn't added the business to their address book.

Very few businesses will be official business accounts.

Business Account

By default, any account using the WhatsApp Business API or WhatsApp Business App is a business account. WhatsApp verifies authenticity of a brand for every account on the WhatsApp Business API.

 

 

How Your Business Appears to Users

Depending on your business account type, users will see different things. If a user has already saved the business number in their address book, the name from their address book will always be displayed. The phone number will still be visible in the contacts view.

Official Business Account

If your WhatsApp account is an official business account, the display name will be visible in the chat list, chat screens, chat groups, and contacts view instead of the phone number. There will be a green checkmark beside the displayed name in the contacts view.

                                                                                                    

 

Business Account

If your WhatsApp account is a business account, the display name will only be shown in the contacts view in smaller text; 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.

                                                                                                   

 

For a WABA account, you will work with your assigned Syniverse Implementation manager, who will gather the necessary details of what you will need to submit to get your WABA account setup.

 

Registering a number for WhatsApp Business API

Syniverse offers 2 options for registration of WhatsApp Business API numbers. In both cases, customer will need to have an E.164 formatted number that has not been used on WhatsApp before and capable of either receiving a call or text messaging.  Number is used to programmatically send and receive WhatsApp business messaging. The Syniverse platform will use this number to create a private sender ID for the customer’s WABA account.

  • Option 1: Customer can source a number directly from Syniverse to use as a WhatsApp Business API number. With this option, Syniverse can currently only provide US, UK and Canadian numbers and will help you with registration, activation of the number and creation of a Syniverse WhatsApp Business API Sender ID
  • Option 2: Customer can provide their own numbers to be used for WhatsApp Business API messaging. The number must meet the following criteria:
    • Must be an active phone number in E.164 format.
    • Must be able to receive a voice call or a SMS.
    • With this option, Businesses will need to cordinate directly with their Account team or assigned Implementation Manager to complete registration and activation of the number including the creation of a WhatsApp Business API Sender ID.

Once a number has been selected or assigned, Syniverse will register this number with WhatsApp along with a display name under your newly created WABA. For more information, see details on Phone Number and Display name registration 

WhatsApp Business API Sender ID

A WhatsApp Business API Sender ID is required to send messages on the Syniverse CPaaS platform. How this will be created depends on the WhatsApp Phone number registration option that the customer chooses.

If a customer choses option 1 (see above), Syniverse will create the Sender ID on behalf of the Business using the number assigned by Syniverse to the customer. Your assigned Implementation manager will work with you on timelines and details of the Sender ID.

For customer that chose option 2, please refer to “How to create a WhatsApp Business API Sender ID

 

Engaging your customers using WhatsApp Business API

Once the Business have all the necessary credentials created and approved, they can now proceed to engaging users using WhatsApp Business API channel using the Syniverse CPaaS API.

WhatsApp Opt-In Requirements

One of the very first step in engaging user over WhatsApp Business API channel is to ensure the user has granted an explicit consent to receive messages from the Business over WhatsApp.  It is important to ensure Brand integrity and avoid a bad experience with your Brand.

WhatsApp requires that your Business application implement explicit user opt-ins/ consent gather in order to deliver messages over WhatsApp. You may gather this opt-in information either via a web page or a mobile app, such as during your application's sign-up flow, in your application's account settings, via SMS, etc. For more information, see https://developers.facebook.com/docs/whatsapp/guides/opt-in

Please note that sending messages to end users without an opt-in may result in users blocking your business as well as the suspension of your WhatsApp Business account. It is very important that Businesses familiarize themselves with the rules of engagement governing the use of WhatsApp Business as a communication channel. For more information on what is allowed and what’s not, please check out our article on Engagement rules.

Customer Engagement using WhatsApp Business API

There are some Business engagement rules that all businesses need to be familiar with. Please ensure you have read and understand these rules.

Businesses can engage their customers who have WhatsApp application clients on their devices using 2 types of engagement methods:

  1. Send Notifications (Template messaging)
  2. Have a 2-way conversation (Customer care or Conversational Messaging)

If your customer initiates messaging with you, it opens up ("24-hour Conversational Chat Window") in which you can communicate continuously with end-user for up to 24 hours following the last message that that customer sends to you (Conversational Messaging). Any additional message you send to that customer beyond the 24-hr. window must be a Notification (WhatsApp Template Messaging), for which an approved template is required.

WhatsApp Notification Messaging (Template Messages)

WhatsApp Business Messaging supports sending Business-intiated messages that uses a WhatsApp pre-approved templates for outbound notifications like delivery alerts, appointment reminders.

All Notification messages are billable as sent messages per our listed pricing for each applicable country. Each delivered Notification message is billed based upon the country code of the recipient. For example, a +44-country code phone number belonging to a recipient is charged at the United Kingdom price. Syniverse will charge you for each Notification (Templated Message) that is sent in addition to any applicable WhatsApp fee (Pass-thru fees.) For more information on WhatsApp Notification fees, visit https://developers.facebook.com/docs/whatsapp/pricing

Templated Message is required if you need to engage a user outside of the “24 hr Conversational Chat window”. Messages sent without a pre-approved template will be rejected. Below is a list of categories that a template can be created for:

  • Appointment Update
  • Auto Reply
  • Alert Updates
  • Account Update
  • Issue Resolution
  • Payment Update
  • Shipping Update
  • Ticket Update
  • Reservation Update
  • Personal Finance Update
  • Transportation Update

 

Syniverse will assist Customers in creating Messages Template that matches their supported use case.  Syniverse APIs currently do not support WhatsApp media message templates and buttons. Please check back later with us on when these features will be available.

Typically, a Template approval by WhatsApp could take up to 48 hours. WhatsApp templates are stored on WhatsApp servers and need to be referenced when sending message using the Syniverse CPaaS APIs. Each WhatsApp business account can only have up to 250 templates.

See information about Message templates and how to use them. To apply to have templates created, see instructions here

 

WhatsApp Customer Care (Conversational Messaging)

WhatsApp Business Messaging offers a session-like conversational chat messaging known as “Customer Care” messages, where any messages can be sent and received in response to a user-initiated message to your Chatbot or Service application. The Customer care messaging has a 24-hour window starting from when you first received the most recent message to your Chatbot or application from a user. During this 24 hr Customer care window you can communicate with users in freeform without the need of a Template.

For you to send message outside of the 24-hour chat window, you must use a pre-approved template (see Notification Messaging section above).

For information on how to send a WhatsApp Message, please visit: Sending WhatsApp Messages

 

Supported Media type

Media

Supported Content-Types

audio

audio/aac, audio/mp4, audio/amr, audio/mpeg, audio/ogg; codecs=opus

document

Any valid MIME-type

image

image/jpeg, image/png

video

video/mp4, video/3gpp.  Note: Only H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec is supported

 

Supported Post-processing media size

Media Type

Max Size

audio

5 MB

document

5 MB

image

5 MB

video

5 MB

 

 

Pricing

Please contact Syniverse Sales or your Account Representative for pricing information or information on how to get started with WhatsApp Business API messaging.