Is WhatsApp Business API free?

Is WhatsApp Business API free? Access to the API is simple yet can be complicated at the same time, thus signing up with a business solution provider is highly recommended.

Johannesburg, 09 Jun 2021
Read time 5min 10sec
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If you’re the owner of a small, medium or large business, you have probably been exploring the option of faster and more direct ways to market and power your communication with your customers and clients. Beyond the classic WhatsApp platform, the business sector is already seeing the use of WhatsApp Business among financial advisors, asset managers, wealth managers, bankers and traders.

Due to the growing popularity of WhatsApp Business, you may have already heard about the WhatsApp Business API, which seems like the next step to connect globally, securely and reliably. But is WhatsApp Business API free like other WhatsApp platforms? While the short answer is “no”, there is so much more to consider.

WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API

If you’re looking for the right WhatsApp connection tailored to your business application, it’s important to understand that there are two WhatsApp Business versions available, each with its own advantages and specialised features. Choosing the right WhatsApp service for your business will give you the best reach when connecting with customers and clients.

WhatsApp Business, a free-to-download app, was released in 2018 and was specifically designed with small and local businesses in mind to allow a business owner to use two accounts on the same device: for instance, a personal WhatsApp account and a WhatsApp Business account. The different logo for the two services makes it fairly easy to identify which app is for personal use and which one is for business.

WhatsApp Business features the capability to send greeting messages, away messages, and a “quick reply” function to send predefined replies concerning frequently asked questions, as well as other useful functions. As long as one has an Internet connection and doesn’t exceed the 256 per device contact limit, WhatsApp Business remains a free-of-charge way to professionally connect with customers and clients.

WhatsApp Business API, on the other hand, has been specifically designed for medium to large and expanding companies that deal with greater volumes of messages and wish to power communication globally. It is a more robust business application and has more advanced automation and enterprise-level features that you won’t find using WhatsApp Business. The big green tick next to the name of your business in the profile and chat headers, added at the discretion of WhatsApp, identifies your business as verified and legitimate as an additional assurance feature.

Furthermore, WhatsApp Business API coupled with the Cellfind LiveChat platform enables multiple agents to sign in at the same time and use a centralised dashboard and team inbox to communicate with customers, send them multimedia files and documents, and access useful features like granulated reports and detailed analytics. WhatsApp Business API doesn’t have a real mobile interface, therefore it is important to note that WhatsApp Business API has no calling capabilities.

Unlike WhatsApp Business, which is a completely free service aimed at small and micro businesses, WhatsApp Business API is an integrated solution with some costs involved. For smoother application and operation, WhatsApp encourages companies to sign up with an approved business solution provider such as Cellfind.

Three key benefits of WhatsApp Business API

  1. WhatsApp Business API can support an unlimited number of users with a centralised dashboard, a shared team inbox and contact synchronisation.
  2. Companies can integrate the API with their CRM for seamless branded communication using templated messages, automated processes and more. The Cellfind LiveChat Dashboard also offers a “quick reply” feature with pre-populated messages that speed up response times to customers and clients.
  3. API broadcasts are unlimited, and businesses can send and receive audio, video, pdf, text and document files securely.

Finding your WhatsApp Business solution provider

WhatsApp has chosen to offer WhatsApp Business API accounts through WhatsApp partners only. It makes sense when we consider that outsourcing the process to partners is less resource-intensive and more cost-effective than handling it in-house.

Additionally, partners have the resources to assist in screening applicants. Some partners, like Cellfind, are SMS providers with access to high-volume clients, which means they have the manpower to ensure only the best brands get on WhatsApp.

Signing up for a WhatsApp Business API account through a partner means the access is to the partner's API, which, in the case of Cellfind, provides access to other great tools like SMS and USSD. Not all partners offer the same set of tools, however, so your experience will differ based on your choice of partner.

Cellfind also offers the WhatsApp Business API globally and its ‘per session’ message fees are among the lowest you’ll find.

Is WhatsApp Business API free?

No, but it does leverage the strongest and most involved user base, sending approximately 65 billion messages around the world in a single day. So, whether you want to use WhatsApp to generate leads, provide customer service, or encourage user engagement using a combination of chatbots and live agents, integrating the API into your business is the way to go.

Applying for the WhatsApp Business API can be a complicated process, but with the help of Cellfind as your business solution provider, it can be a smooth process, doing away with any technicalities and headaches.

Knowing that Cellfind’s services are fully compatible and compliant, the value your business will derive from reaching your leads and customers where they feel most comfortable is definitely worth the spend.

Contact the Cellfind Business Team today and enquire about the flexible and affordable pricing options to take your business marketing and communication to the next level with WhatsApp Business API.

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