COMMUNICATION

WhatsApp Business API - The most important info at a glance

The most important information at a glance: We explain what the WhatsApp Business API is all about and how you can use the most popular messenger in your company in compliance with the GDPR.

Christina Wendt

Messaging expert

6 August, 2021

WhatsApp Business API - All info at a glance

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cautionary Language Concerning Forwad-Looking Statement

Cautionary Language Concerning Forwad-Looking Statement

People use messengers to stay in touch with friends and family. Business conversations are also conducted via it nowadays. WhatsApp is the most popular messenger worldwide and opens up a new way for businesses to communicate with customers.

How can you use WhatsApp Business? What is the difference between WhatsApp Business and the WhatsApp Business API? Does the use of WhatsApp comply with data protection requirements? Here you will find the most important information and answers about the WhatsApp Business API.

WhatsApp user figures and things to know

WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton. Within a very short time, the app developed into one of the most popular short message services and was taken over by Facebook for 19 billion dollars in 2014. Several billion people use messengers like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Telegram every day.

WhatsApp is the top dog among messengers, globally. According to a Statista study, more than 2 billion people worldwide and over 36 million Americans use WhatsApp every day. Every day, more than 100 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp globally.

What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp for private use

A normal WhatsApp account is only intended for private communication with friends and family. The app does not meet the data protection requirements for commercial use. WhatsApp accesses contact and metadata, which precludes its use for communication with customers. 

WhatsApp Business App

The WhatsApp Business app offers businesses the opportunity to use the messenger for communication purposes. WhatsApp Business is an extension of the normal app, so to speak, is still free of charge and is primarily aimed at small and local businesses.

With a WhatsApp Business account, for example, text modules can be created for recurring questions or automated messages can be sent. However, not all DSGVO requirements are fulfilled here either, as WhatsApp accesses the address book and collects metadata, among other things. In addition, the WhatsApp Business App can only be operated from one device. Use with several smartphones and by several employees is not possible.

WhatsApp Business API

The WhatsApp Business API enables companies to use the messenger in a DSGVO-compliant manner. The WhatsApp Business API has been available since 2018 and, unlike WhatsApp Business, is not free of charge. The use of the API is only possible via a provider, must be verified via WhatsApp or Facebook and can only be used after confirmation.

What is an API? 💡

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a programming interface that facilitates the transfer of data between systems. Different applications can communicate with each other quickly and easily via an API.

After activation, the WhatsApp corporate account is then accessible via the respective third-party provider, such as Superchat. This solution allows multiple users to access WhatsApp from different devices. 

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WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp Business

Suitable for

Small & medium enterprises or larger

Small businesses or sole traders

GDPR compliant

Number of users

Use by several people and devices

Use only possible on one device

Availability

Access only via API provider

WhatsApp Business App available for iOS and Android

Institution

Registration runs via a WhatsApp Business API provider

Account can be created yourself

Price

Costs depend on the WhatsApp Business API provider

Free of charge

What does WhatsApp Business cost?

WhatsApp Business was designed for small, local businesses and can be used free of charge. The WhatsApp Business API is accessible via platforms like Superchat. With Superchat, you have the opportunity to use WhatsApp Business in a DSGVO-compliant way and with several employees in your company for as little as 99 EURO per month.

Is the WhatsApp Business API compliant with the GDPR? 

Due to data protection concerns, WhatsApp and other messengers are repeatedly criticised. To protect citizens' data, the General Data Protection Regulation has been in place since 2018. This agreement applies to all EU member states and regulates how personal data is handled. 

This is why WhatsApp is criticised

WhatsApp collects a lot of personal data from users. This includes the profile name, phone number or location. In addition, the messenger app has access to metadata of individual messages. This metadata makes it possible to track who sent a message, when and to whom.

Apart from that, WhatsApp can read address books, store automatic backups unencrypted and theoretically pass on the data to the parent company Facebook. Even though the American messenger service continues to record high user numbers, many users are switching to messenger alternatives for these reasons.

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WhatsApp Business is not DSGVO-compliant

As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for both the collection and processing of personal customer data. Although communication via WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, it is not immediately DSGVO-compliant. Since WhatsApp Business still accesses metadata and contact lists, its use is problematic from a data protection perspective. 

Using the WhatsApp Business API in a GDPR-compliant manner

Despite criticism, many people continue to use WhatsApp. This makes WhatsApp an attractive communication channel for entrepreneurs. If you want to use WhatsApp in your company in compliance with the GDPR, the WhatsApp Business API is the optimal solution.

Via the API, the issue of data protection lies with you and your WhatsApp Business API provider. With an order processing contract (AV contract) with the respective company and a series of further data protection measures, the messenger can be used for communication with customers in a legally secure manner.

"We all use WhatsApp every day. That's why it makes sense to also use WhatsApp for customer communication. The WhatsApp Business API is the best and most secure way to communicate with customers in a GDPR-compliant way."

Yilmaz Köknar, CEO & Co-Founder of Superchat

What is a WhatsApp Newsletter?

Companies could, until about two years ago, share information and news with customers via push messages via WhatsApp newsletters. Since December 2019, this function is no longer available. Recently, businesses have been able to send push messages to customers again. This is now possible via session messages and template messages. Session Messages can be sent by businesses, provided the customer has initiated the contact in advance. Template messages are prefabricated messages that contain, for example, advertising or news. It should be noted that these messages require the consent (opt-in) of the recipient. 

Who is the WhatsApp Business API suitable for?

For companies that see WhatsApp as an important communication channel, want to use the messenger with several employees and attach importance to data protection, the WhatsApp Business API is the optimal solution. 

WhatsApp Business API Advantages for businesses:

  • WhatsApp Business Profile with important basic information
  • DSGVO-compliant use of WhatsApp Business
  • End-to-end encrypted messages
  • Use with several employees and via several terminals
  • Create automated responses and message templates
  • Fast and uncomplicated response to customer enquiries

WhatsApp Business API advantages for customers

  • Quick and direct contact with companies
  • No queues and quick response to questions
  • Contact is not tied to customer service working hours
  • Easy sending of pictures, documents, etc. 
  • Chat available via different devices 

This is why you should use the WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp is the most popular messenger service in Germany. By using WhatsApp Business or the WhatsApp Business API, you give your customers an easy and natural way to get in touch with your business.With WhatsApp Business API you can use WhatsApp DSGVO compliant to communicate with your customers. 

Set up a WhatsApp company account

Accounts that are used via WhatsApp Business or the WhatsApp Business API are called business accounts. But how do you actually get a WhatsApp Business account? 

  1. In order to use the WhatsApp Business API, the WhatsApp company profile must be verified via the Facebook Business Manager. 
  2. A telephone number must be stored in the WhatsApp customer service channel. You can use both a mobile and a landline number here.

So as a Superchat customer, you automatically receive a WhatsApp company account. The Superchat team will support you with the implementation and verification.

Use WhatsApp Business API with Superchat

Superchat wants to make digital customer communication as easy as communicating with friends or family members. Via Superchat's WhatsApp solution, you can use the channel in a DSGVO-compliant way to communicate with your target group.

Our team is at your side from the very beginning and will help you set up your WhatsApp company account and verify it. If you wish, we can also get you a new number for your WhatsApp business account. With Superchat, you can use WhatsApp on multiple devices and with multiple employees at the same time.

With a WhatsApp QR code on your website, in newsletters or in printed form, your customers will be redirected directly to the chat with your company. You can easily create this QR code with the WhatsApp code generator from Superchat.

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Here's a reading tip from us: WhatsApp QR code for business: How it works

All functions of Superchat at a glance

  • All communication channels in one inbox
  • WhatsApp Business 100% DSGVO compliant and with multiple users
  • Webchat widget for your website
  • Create message templates and absence notes
  • Assign incoming messages 
  • Internally add notes to conversations
  • Manage and track online reviews

With Superchat, all messages received via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, email, Google Business Messenger, Telegram and SMS are bundled in one inbox. This gives you a comprehensive overview of all customer enquiries. Together in the team, customer enquiries are processed transparently.

Would you like to use Superchat? Do you have questions about our product? Contact us easily and without any obligations here via WhatsApp, or send us an e-mail at hello@superchat.de. We look forward to hearing from you!

WhatsApp Business FAQs

Can any company use the WhatsApp Business API?

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No. Companies that use WhatsApp Business must comply with the WhatsApp Commerce Policy. The following industries and services are excluded and cannot use an official WhatsApp Business account:

How does WhatsApp work over a fixed network?

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Instead of a mobile phone number, you can also store a landline number with Whatsapp Business or the WhatsApp Business API. Since extension numbers are not supported by WhatsApp, you should use a landline number without an extension. The WhatsApp verification code will be sent to you as a voice call. 

Can I use WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business at the same time?

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The standard version of WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business can be used in parallel on one smartphone. Only one phone number can be used per account. This means you need a dual-sim smartphone or have to connect the WhatsApp Business account via a landline number. You can use the WhatsApp Business API via the Superchat app on the smartphone in addition to the private WhatsApp. You can separate your private number from your business number and keep track of incoming customer requests at the same time.

What should I do if my WhatsApp account has been blocked? 

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Follow these steps to unlock your WhatsApp account:

  • Identify the reason why your account was suspended 
  • Adhere to WhatsApp's guidelines
  • Send a message to WhatsApp support
  • Send a message to WhatsApp support

Christina Wendt

Messaging Expert

Christina is a messaging and content expert at Superchat. Apart from communication and marketing topics, she knows the Berlin food scene inside out.

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