How To Article

How to Get a WhatsApp API Account (Apr 2021)

Chris Lai
Content Writer, Respond.io
April 15, 2021

Want to use WhatsApp API for business but don't know how to get a WhatsApp API Account? This blog post is for you. We’ll be answering questions like what is a WhatsApp Business API account and how to get it. You’ll also find step-by-step guides to getting 360dialog and Twilio WhatsApp API accounts. Plus, learn how to get your WhatsApp API key and connect to a WhatsApp CRM.

What is a WhatsApp API Account & How to Get It

WhatsApp API account is the go-to for medium to large companies looking to use WhatsApp Business with multiple users. To prevent spam, WhatsApp API doesn’t allow sending the first message or freely message customers outside the 24-hour window.

Creating a WhatsApp Business API Account is as tricky as learning the messaging rules - you can only get a WhatsApp API account through Partners.

So how do you apply for WhatsApp Business API? Applying for a WhatsApp API account generally involves three steps:

  1. Buy or port a phone number
  2. Verify Facebook Business ID and number, accept messaging permissions
  3. Generate an API Key to connect to a business software
This is an image showing the process of how to get WhatsApp API. So how do you apply for WhatsApp Business API? Applying for a WhatsApp API account generally involves three steps: Buy or port a phone number, Verify Facebook Business ID and number, accept messaging permissions, Generate an API Key to connect to a business software
How to Set Up WhatsApp Business API

Here's what you should before applying - some Partners require you to buy a number, while others let you port your own number. Make sure the number you port can receive calls or SMS, and it’s not in use with another WhatsApp Business App or API account.

As part of the application process, you need to complete Business Verification in the Facebook Business Manager by providing some documents. The process can take 5-20 working days. Remember, Business verification is different from Page verification.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to get a WhatsApp API account, we’ll walk you through the steps to apply for WhatsApp API on Twilio & 360dialog. The former involves a tedious verification process, while the latter gives you instant access to WhatsApp API.

Twilio WhatsApp API: How to Get WhatsApp API Account on Twilio

To get a Twilio WhatsApp API Account, create a Twilio account. Any new account comes with $15 of free credit which is enough to buy a phone number.

1. Navigate to the Twilio Dashboard > Get a Trial Number to create a Twilio Phone Number.

This is a picture showing the process of how to get WhatsApp API. Navigate to the Twilio Dashboard > Get a Trial Number to create a phone number.
Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: The Twilio Dashboard

Then you'll be prompted with a number in your region.

2. Click Choose this Number. Alternatively, you can search for a different one.

This is a picture showing the process of how to get WhatsApp API. Then you'll be prompted with a number in your region. You can select this phone number, or you can search for a different one.
Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: Selecting the Phone Number

3. Navigate to Programmable SMS > WhatsApp > Senders > Sign Up to Receive Updates.

This is an image showing the process of how to get WhatsApp API. APpply for WhatsApp API access by navigating to Programmable SMS > WhatsApp > Senders > Sign Up to Receive Updates
Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: Sign Up To Receive Updates

After clicking Sign Up to Receive Updates, you will be taken to a form.

4. Provide your Account SID, Facebook Business Manager ID, and other details in Twilio Request Access form.

This is an image showing the process of how to get Twilio WhatsApp API. Once you click Sign Up to Receive Updates, you will be taken to a form. Provide your Account SID, Facebook Business Manager ID, and other details.
Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: Twilio Request Access Form

If your application is successful, you’ll receive a pre-approval email with instructions on what to do next.

5. Create a WhatsApp Sender profile. Go to Programmable Messaging > Senders > WhatsApp Senders. Click on New WhatsApp Sender to create a new profile. A form will appear.

This is a picture showing how to get WhatsApp API on Twilio. Once your account is pre-approved, submit a WhatsApp Sender. Go to the Programmable Messaging > Senders > WhatsApp Senders. Click the New WhatsApp Sender button to create a new profile.
Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: WhatsApp Enabled Senders

6. Provide Business Profile details. Make sure your Display Name is in compliance with WhatsApp rules. Press Submit Request when you’re done.

This is an image showing how to get WhatsApp API on Twilio. A form will appear. Select a number, and fill in your Display Name and brand information. Make sure your Display Name is in compliance with WhatsApp rules. Press Submit Request when you’re done.
Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: Business Profile Request Form

7. Approve Twilio to send messages on your behalf. Go to Facebook Business Manager and click Approve.

This is a picture that show to get WhatsApp API on Twilio. You need to give permission to Twilio for sending messages on your behalf. Go to the Facebook Business Manager console and click Approve.
Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: Accept Messaging On Behalf Request

8. Verify your Facebook Business Manager account. Go to Security Center in the Facebook Business Manager. Click the Start or Continue button under the Verification section.

Getting a Twilio WhatsApp API Account: Facebook Business Manager Verification

Twilio will complete the registration process send you a confirmation email. You can submit a message template and generate an API key to connect to a CRM. If you need a CRM to connect you can find one here.

Applying a WhatsApp API account on Twilio is a lengthy process. If you want to get a WhatsApp API account fast, try 360dialog Express Signup.

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

360dialog Express Signup provides the ability to use a WhatsApp API account in Limited Messaging Mode before verifying Facebook Business Manager. Apply for 360dialog WhatsApp API Account here.

1. Add an Email, Name & Password as well as your Company Legal Name & Facebook Business Manager ID.

This is a picture that show to get WhatsApp API on 350dialog. To start, click here and press Get Account. Then fill out the WhatsApp Business Account application.
WhatsApp Business Account Application Form

The Email, Name & Password will be used to create a 360dialog account. You will need this to manage your WhatsApp API account. Your Company Legal Name & Facebook Business ID will be used to associate the account with your Facebook Business.

2. Connect a Facebook Business Account.

This is a picture showing how to get WhatsApp API on 360dialog. Connect your Facebook Business Account or create a new one.
Connecting a Facebook Business Account

If you don’t have one at this stage, there will be an option to create a brand new one.

3. Create a WhatsApp Business Profile by adding a Display Name, Business Category & Description.

This is an image showing the process of how to get 360dialog WhatsApp API. Create your WhatsApp Business Profile. Choose a Display Name and add the Business Category and Description.
Creating a WhatsApp Business Profile

These will be displayed on your WhatsApp Business Account profile, your customers will see it when they review your account. Keep in mind Facebook manually approves the display name, so make sure it is as close to your Legal Business Name as possible.

4. Add & Verify the Phone Number to associate with the WhatsApp API Account.

This is a picture showing the process of how to get WhatsApp API. Verify your phone number. Enter the 6-digit code you receive via text message or voice call.
Verifying Phone Number

The Phone Number is verified via a pin sent to you in a Call or SMS. So make sure you have access to the number you are using. Remember this number cannot be currently in use with any WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API accounts.

Once Phone Number is successfully verified, you will enter Limited Messaging Mode 1. At this point you will be able to send 10 messages to up to 2 Contacts. To exit Limited Messaging Mode 1, submit your Facebook Business for verification.

This is an image showing the process of how to get WhatsApp API. Upon successful verification, you will enter Limited Messaging Mode 1. This means you can send up to 1,500 messages.
Limited Messaging Mode 1

If you have already verified your Facebook Business, you will get full access to your account right away. However, Facebook will still need to verify your Display Name.

5. Generate an API Key.

This is an image showing the process of how to get WhatsApp API.  After completing the signup, you will be logged into 360 Client hub where you can generate your API key.
How to Get WhatsApp API token

You might ask yourself how to get my WhatsApp API key? After completing the signup, you will be logged into 360 Client Hub where you can generate your API key.

Now that you’ve got your API key, what’s next? You can now use the API key to connect to a WhatsApp CRM.

Connecting WhatsApp API Account to a CRM

WhatsApp API Account is just an API - there is no app and front-end interface. To start messaging your customers with your WhatsApp API account, you need to take the WhatsApp API key & connect to business software.

This is an image showing how to connect to ja.respond.io with WhatsApp API key. WhatsApp API Account is just an API - there is no app and front-end interface. To start messaging your customers with your WhatsApp API account, you need to take the WhatsApp API key & connect to business software.
How to integrate WhatsApp Business API to respond.io

If you are looking for a free WhatsApp CRM that’s not feature-limited, we recommend you give respond.io a try. Sign up for a free respond.io account, insert your API key and start messaging with WhatsApp API today.

Further Reading

If you're interested in more information about WhatsApp for Business, check out these articles:

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