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WhatsApp API FAQ

Yes, there is a WhatsApp API. It’s specially designed for small and medium businesses that want to take advantage of WhatsApp’s popularity to improve their sales and boost their customer support. With this API, companies can easily introduce WhatsApp into their tech stack. Then they can provide the best possible customer care in multiple ways. They can participate in multichannel/multiparty interactions; create automated chatbots; deliver notifications, alerts and updates; integrate WhatsApp with their CRM; and more. Since WhatsApp is popular all over the world, brands can leverage this API to talk to customers, no matter their location.

The WhatsApp API is a solution for medium and large businesses to introduce WhatsApp into their customer support tech stack. It enables them to connect with their customers at scale to share information, answer questions, address concerns/complaints, and even send auto-notifications and alerts. The WhatsApp API is not an app, and there is no front-end interface.

Unlike the WhatsApp for Business app, the WhatsApp Business API is not free. The price depends on the WhatsApp Partner – also known as a Business Solution Provider (BSP) – that will set up the API for the business. BSPs pay WhatsApp to connect to the API and then provide the service to their customers, i.e., small/medium businesses. Every BSP sets their own price.

Business users cannot simply download the WhatsApp API. To get the API for their small or medium business, they need to go through a BSP like Gupshup. Another option is to work directly with Facebook for Business by filling out the form here with relevant information about the

business. However, this method will take longer as Facebook and WhatsApp review each application individually. It’s faster to go through a BSP because these firms are already vetted by Facebook and are part of their Partner Network.

It’s not possible to get a 100% free version of WhatsApp API for Business. The price of the API solution will vary, depending on the BSP.

Some BSPs charge companies a per-message fee for  both session messaging and template messaging. Some BSPs like Gupshup charge a minuscule 0.0010 USD per message for outgoing text/media up to 64KB and all incoming text/media. WhatsApp charges BSPs for template messaging, and BSPs in turn charge companies a small fee per message.

The price of the WhatsApp API solution differs by BSP. Apart from the setup/deployment cost, BSPs also charge their customers for the two types of WhatsApp API messaging.

With Session Messaging, businesses can reply to customer messages within 24 hours. WhatsApp does not charge BSPs for these messages, and they may pass on this saving to businesses. But usually, BSPs do charge a small amount per session message (outgoing and incoming) that can

range from $0.001 to $0.073. Gupshup for example charges only $0.001 per session message.

Template Messages also attract a small fee (WhatsApp destination charges) that BSPs must pay to WhatsApp. This fee is based on WhatsApp’s rate card and depends on message destination and volume. BSPs then charge companies on a per-message basis.

With a WhatsApp API, businesses can:

  • Talk to customers anywhere in the world
  • Share important information, e.g., business address, description, website, email address
  • Send timely notifications and alerts
  • Bring customers closer to the brand to boost its equity and recall value

By partnering with BSP like Gupshup, small/medium businesses also get access to data-rich analytics to gauge the effectiveness of their sales or customer support functions.