This guide contains all of the steps needed for your company to get started using WhatsApp with Vonage’s Messages and Dispatch API, when onboarding via Vonage’s standard onboarding process. This page does NOT apply if you are using Embedded Sign Up
A Facebook Business Account and Business Manager
Since WhatsApp is a Facebook product, anyone wanting to use the platform needs to have a Facebook business page, and a Facebook Business Manager to support it. Refer to Facebook's documentation on how to create a Facebook Business Manager.
Once you have your Facebook Business Manager, you’ll need to find your Facebook Business Manager ID. See Where can I find my Facebook Business Manager ID for instructions. This ID number is used to create your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA), so it is crucial that you share the correct number with us.
A Vonage Account and API Key
You’ll need a Vonage developer account and API key. Registering an account is easy. Visit our website to log in or create an account. WhatsApp production accounts will need their own dedicated sub-API key. If you are already using your Vonage API key for another service, request a sub-account key through your account dashboard or ask your Vonage account manager.
If you are buying through a Partner, the Partner will sort this out for you.
A WhatsApp Phone Number
Your chosen WhatsApp phone number can either be a Vonage LVN or a number that you have acquired yourself.
In either case, the phone number must follow the below requirements:
- Not already being used elsewhere on WhatsApp - either on the personal or business app. If it's already live with another BSP, see how to migrate the phone number
- Be able to accept VOICE calls or SMS
- Have international reach, accepting Voice call or SMS from United States of America (this is required in order to complete the 2FA with Facebook)
- No short codes
- No toll-free numbers
- For Contact Centre phones, the IVR system must be able to be disabled or intercepted in order to complete the 2FA
If you would like to use a Vonage LVN, please check our Voice Numbers Features Overview to confirm if your chosen country code has international reach. You can purchase a new number on your Vonage account dashboard or speak to your account manager.
Onboarding Action Items
1. Complete the WhatsApp Customer Information Form
If you have completed all the above steps and have all the required information available, fill out our application form to share this information with the Vonage team. This kick starts our formal onboarding process and allows us to track the implementation.
2. Accept Jewel Notification
Once you have completed the form, we will create your WABA. You will receive an email from Vonage shortly after explaining how you must approve the Jewel Notification request sent to the Facebook Business Manager Dashboard. Approving this allows Vonage to create a WABA on your behalf. You must follow these steps to accept the request, see How do I accept the request from Vonage for the WhatsApp Business API.
3. Facebook Commerce Policy Review
Facebook will review your WABA against their Commerce Policy. Facebook will confirm that your business complies with WhatsApp’s internal Commerce Policy. To be on boarded onto the WhatsApp API platform, your business must comply with this policy.
4. Internal Provisioning
Before we can get your number live, we need to ensure that your Account is correctly provisioned internally. This might involve provisioning any custom pricing to your API key(s), or ensuring we have the correct contracts documented where necessary.
If you are onboarding via a Partner, we will need to ensure that the Partner has been approved by Facebook, and has been correctly onboarded at Vonage.
We will handle this for you, nothing for you to worry about.
5. Activate your WhatsApp Number!
With all the above complete, we will be ready to get your number live on the WhatsApp API! To do this, we will complete the OTP verification call, which just confirms your ownership of the phone number.
If you have chosen to use a Vonage LVN, we can complete this step for you. The Vonage team will provision your number, and will let you know once it is complete.
If you have elected for a non-Vonage phone number, we will need to schedule a quick call with Vonage’s respective technical teams. If everything is in place, this call should take about 5-10 minutes. We will trigger Facebook to send a Voice call or SMS to your chosen phone number with 6 digit code, which you will just need to relay back to the Vonage team to verify.
This verification will link your WhatsApp phone number to your chosen dedicated API key.
6. Complete Integration with Messages API
Using your new Live WhatsApp number and the designated API key, you will need to complete the configuration on your Vonage Dashboard. See Post Go-Live Guide for Using WhatsApp with Vonage Messages and Dispatch API for more help on this.
7. Start Sending Messages!
As of May 2nd 2022, you can now start messaging customers without having to complete Business Verification or Display Name reviews. With the above steps complete, you will immediately be able to:
- Respond to unlimited customer-initiated conversations (24-hour messaging windows)
- Send business-initiated conversations to 50 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period
- Register up to 2 phone numbers
See here for more information about sending messages without verifying your business.
If you want to increase these limits, you will need to complete the business verification process, as below.
8. Verify your Business with Facebook
You only need to complete the Business Verification if you want to scale business initiated conversations, or become an Official Business Account (Green Label status)
If/when required, you can start the Business Verification process. This is the process of Facebook confirming the legitimacy of your business.
If your verification is rejected, review our documentation to try to resolve this issue, otherwise, contact our support team and we will be able to help.
9. Display Name Review
Once your business verification is approved, Facebook will automatically be triggered to review your display names against their Display Name Guidelines. All display names must comply with WhatsApp's naming guidelines.
If your display name is rejected, the Vonage team will work with you to get an appropriate name approved.
10. Unlimited WhatsAppUsage
Once your business is verified and display name has been approved, you will be able to use WhatsApp without the above restrictions. You will be able to:
- Scale your business initiated conversations following Facebook’s standard messaging limit tiers
- Add more than 2 phone numbers to the WABA
- Request Official Business Account (Green Label) status, selow
11. Green Label Application
The Green Label, or Official Business Account status, means your profile will appear as "Your Brand Name" in the WhatsApp GUI, rather than appearing as just the phone number. See here the name of “Vonage”
Vonage must submit a request with Facebook on your behalf. Let the team know when you are ready to apply for this. This can only be completed after your number is live on the WhatsApp API.
Note that this status is not guaranteed and is completely at Facebook’s discretion. Very few businesses will be an official business account, and being verified on Facebook will not mean you automatically get this label.
Using your WhatsApp Business Account
1. Vonage Invite Users to the WABA
On the application form, you will be asked for the email addresses of the users you want added to the WABA. Once your number is live, Vonage will send these users an email, inviting them to join Vonage’s Facebook. Note that this email will come from Facebook.
2. Users Must Accept Invite to WABA
These users must follow the instructions on the email to activate their account. To do this, they will need to link it to a Facebook account. If you do not already have a Facebook account, you will need to create one. The email address that the invitation is sent to does not need to be the same email that your Facebook account is linked to.
Once the users have activated their account, let your Vonage account manager know so that we can then add them to your WABA.
3. Access WABA Dashboard & Create Message Templates
Users will now be able to log in to your WhatsApp Business Account Dashboard by following the steps below:
- Go to your business settings page.
- Make sure you are on the Vonage business page.
- From the drop-down in the top right corner, select Vonage.
- In the left hand column, under the Accounts section, select WhatsApp Accounts.
- Select your Company WABA.
- Under the Settings tab, select WhatsApp Manager.
Here you can navigate between the different tabs:
- Numbers—View and manage your WhatsApp numbers.
- Templates—Create, view, and manage templates. More information about templates can be found in Facebook's template documentation. Each template will need to be approved by Facebook, which normally takes between 24-48 hours.
- Insights—View the usage and analytics of your phone numbers.