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How to Get a WhatsApp API Account (May 2022)

Chris Lai
Content Writer, Respond.io
May 14, 2021

Wondering how to get WhatsApp Business API? You are in the right place. Even though jumping into this process 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

WhatsApp Business API is a solution for companies that want multiple-user access to the platform. However, it is not free. In order to send and receive messages, businesses need to pay for:

WhatsApp Business API offers advanced features that businesses won’t find on the WhatsApp Business App. For instance, WhatsApp API broadcasts are not limited to 256 contacts at a time.

Plus, if you connect WhatsApp API to 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 CRM.

Before applying for a WhatsApp API account, it’s important that businesses ensure they are eligible under the WhatsApp Commerce Policy.

Four things to remember before create WhatsApp API account
Things to keep in mind before applying for an account

Getting a WhatsApp Business API account 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 signup process, whereas the display name review is only initiated after business verification.

How to get WhatsApp for business API: Then vs now
Applying for a WhatsApp API account has never been this easy

After these changes, getting a WhatsApp API account doesn’t have to be a struggle. The signup process is as easy as filling up a form with BSPs (business service providers) that support express signup.

What Is the Best Way to Get WhatsApp Business API?

This section will introduce you to the two 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: Classic vs Embedded Signup

BSPs allow businesses to get an account via two methods: classic signup or embedded signup.

The classic signup 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 signup 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.

Create API WhatsApp account: Classic vs Embedded Signup
Classic vs embedded signup: Which one should you choose?

Hence, this 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 signup generally involves four steps:

  1. Buy or port a phone number.
  2. Fill out the WhatsApp Business Account submission form.
  3. Complete the embedded signup pop-ups.
  4. Generate an API Key to connect to your business software.
How to create WhatsApp API account
How to get WhatsApp API key in four steps

For a hassle-free onboarding process, we suggest you apply for an account via embedded signup. You can do it in under 10 minutes with 360dialog’s express signup. Let’s see how it works.

360dialog WhatsApp API Express Signup: How to Get WhatsApp Business API the Easy Way

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

Then, register for an account at a special price using this signup form exclusive only to respond.io users.

1. Add an email, full name and your company legal name. Then, create a password that you will use to sign in to the 360 Client Hub.

How to get access to whatsapp business api
Fill out 360dialog’s submission form

2. Select Continue with Facebook to connect a Meta Business Account.

Connect Facebook Business Account
Continue with Facebook

3. Create a new Meta 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.

How to make WhatsApp API account: Create Meta and WhatsApp Business account
Create a new Meta Business account

4. Create a new WhatsApp Business Account.

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.

Create WhatsApp Business account
Create your WhatsApp Business account

5. Create your WhatsApp Business profile by adding a WhatsApp Business display name, business category and an optional business description.

How to get access to WhatsApp Business API: Create WhatsApp Business profile
Create your WhatsApp Business profile

6. Add the phone number you want to associate with the WhatsApp API account.

The phone number will be verified with a PIN, so make sure you have access to the number you are utilizing. 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.

Verify WhatsApp Business number: How to get WhatsApp API for business
Verify your WhatsApp Business number

<call-out> Warning: Using a phone number tied to an existing WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business App account will result in permanent loss of contacts and messages. <call-out>

7. Enter your 6-digit verification code. Click on Verify when done.

WhatsApp Business number verification code
Enter the PIN to verify your WhatsApp Business number

8. Complete the Signup process by clicking on OK.

Limited Access Tier
You have completed the onboarding process

9. Get WhatsApp API key.

After completing the signup process, you will be logged in to 360 Client Hub where you can generate your API key.

How to get WhatsApp API link
How to get WhatsApp API token

<call-out>Remember to save your API Key somewhere secure, since you won’t be able to retrieve it after closing the window.<call-out>

10. Connect your API key to respond.io.

  • If you already have a respond.io account, copy and save your API Key and click on Continue to respond.io. Sign in to your respond.io account and insert your verified WhatsApp number and API Key.
  • If you don’t have a respond.io account yet, sign up for one here. Then, check the box that reads I’ve copied and stored the API Key and click on Continue. Finally, open respond.io and connect 360dialog WhatsApp API.
Connect 360dialog to ar.respond.io
Connect 360dialog to respond.io

After obtaining your WhatsApp API account and connecting it to a messaging inbox like 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!

Further Reading

Did you find this article helpful? If so, here are some readings that might interest you.

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