How do I choose a number for the WhatsApp Business API?
Let's figure out which number is suitable for WhatsApp Business API, and which is not? Is it possible to use landline or toll-free numbers? How to connect a valid number to WABA, and what will it take?
In this article we have collected answers to popular questions, requirements and recommendations for choosing a number when connecting WABA. The material will be constantly updated depending on changes in the principles and rules of Meta.
Be very careful about choosing a phone number. The number connected to WABA cannot be used in the regular WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business App. It's not easy to get the number back. If the number has already been connected to the WhatsApp Business API, then the procedure for excluding it from the WABA database may take more than one month.
Which number is suitable for connecting the WhatsApp Business API?
To begin with, we will analyze the "ideal" version of the number for connecting the WhatsApp Business API, and below we will consider exceptions to the rules and more controversial situations:
- The number must include the country and region code, that is, short numbers are not suitable. For the same reason, toll-free numbers "8-800"are not suitable;
- The number should not be connected to the WhatsApp app and WhatsApp Business App. A new number is the simplest solution. If your number is used in business processes, and you are not ready to give it up, then you need to delete your WhatsApp account and use the number emigration procedure in the WhatsApp Business API (we'll talk about this below);
- During the verification process, you will need to confirm that the number belongs to your business. Bank statements or payment receipts will perfectly cope with this;
- The number can be stationary, and in the process of confirming the number, it will be important not to miss the verification call/SMS by disabling the interactive voice response system (IVR)for this and setting up a virtual PBX;
- The number should not be banned in WhatsApp applications. Also, it will not be possible to connect the phone numbers of Iran, Syria, North Korea and Crimea.
My number is already used in WhatsApp or in the WhatsApp Business App. How do I save it and transfer it to the WhatsApp Business API?
If the number is already connected to the WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business App applications, then such a number can also be transferred to the WhatsApp Business API, but for this you will need to use the number emigration procedure.
To understand the essence of the emigration process, we can imagine that the database of WhatsApp application numbers-WhatsApp Business App and WhatsApp Business API-are separate databases from each other. If the number is located in the WhatsApp application database, then it cannot be used in the API and vice versa. Emigration transfers a number from one database to another. You can find detailed instructions on how to transfer a number from WhatsApp applications to the WhatsApp Business API here.
During the emigration process, all incoming messages will be saved on WhatsApp servers and will come to you after the transition is completed. It is worth downloading the previous history of correspondence in advance, since it will not be saved during emigration.
Is a landline number suitable?
A landline number can be connected to WABA. At the same time, the number must be able to receive a verification call or SMS, for this you will need to disable the interactive voice response system (IVR) and install a virtual PBX to capture incoming SMS.
Verification of the number will also occur at the end of the business verification stage and with double authentication of the number, if you enable such a service in the Meta Business Manager personal account.
And if I already cooperate with the API provider, can I go to you, while keeping the number?
Starting from July 2021, this became possible. For more information, the procedure for switching from one API provider to another is described here.
Can I connect several numbers?
Yes, it is also possible. Write to us how many numbers you would like to connect, and we will offer you a discount on a comprehensive connection. Learn more about the price and terms of connection.
Is it possible to connect several WhatsApp Business API accounts to one number?
Meta is categorically against this.
Are you sure you can't use toll-free numbers 8-800?
We would say that we do not recommend using 8-800 numbers. In exceptional cases (we don't know why), such numbers are approved by Meta. We cannot name the exact reasons for such decisions, nor can we guarantee the result if you decide to connect the 8-800 number to the WhatsApp Business API.
How is the number connection going?
The sequence of actions when connecting a number to the WhatsApp Business API will be as follows:
1-Registration in the Chat API;
2-Choosing the method of connecting the number and making a subscription;
3 - Passing Facebook verification and checks;
4 - Creating and moderating templates;
5-Sending and receiving messages from clients.