Privately, almost every smartphone owner uses the popular messenger WhatsApp - so why not also communicate with customers via it? With the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API, the messenger offers two solutions for companies.
In this article, you will learn what a WhatsApp business account is, why you need a WhatsApp business account and how to use WhatsApp in a DSGVO-compliant way in your company.
What is a WhatsApp business account?
The WhatsApp business account is a prerequisite for using WhatsApp Business or the WhatsApp Business API be able to use it. A WhatsApp Business Account gives businesses access to advanced features tailored for business use.
For end users and customers, WhatsApp corporate accounts are relatively easy to distinguish from personal WhatsApp accounts. A company account on WhatsApp is marked with "official company account" or "company account" in the profile.
The first officially WhatsApp-approved option for using the messenger as a business has now been available since 2018 with WhatsApp Business, which can best be understood as an extension of regular WhatsApp and is still free of charge. WhatsApp Business is aimed at small businesses that want to present themselves better on WhatsApp.
A WhatsApp corporate account allows, for example, saving text modules for frequent replies, creating a corporate profile and sending automated messages.
Although WhatsApp Business is intended for commercial use, we do not recommend it. The WhatsApp Business app is not DSGVO-compliant and for this reason not the optimal solution.
WhatsApp Business API
For businesses, there has also been the WhatsApp API since 2020, which can be used via various third-party providers, such as Superchat. Access to the API must be requested from WhatsApp or Facebook. If the account is activated, you can operate your WhatsApp company account via the Facebook Business Manager or via the respective WhatsApp API provider.
In addition to text modules or automated messages, many other features are available to companies. These include use via different devices and with several users at the same time, as well as sending newsletter messages. The biggest advantage: The WhatsApp Business API is DSGVO-compliant!
What does "This is a chat with a business account" mean?
To offer users more transparency, WhatsApp flags conversations with businesses. When a chat with a company is started, customers can see if it is a company account. Apart from that, customers can see if the company is accessing the conversation via Facebook or other platforms.
The following notices are displayed to customers when chatting with companies:
- When companies use WhatsApp through a partner: "This company works with other companies to manage this chat."
- When businesses access WhatsApp through Facebook: "This business uses a secure service from Facebook to manage this chat."
Is the WhatsApp business account compliant with the GDPR?
The commercial use of WhatsApp is associated with data protection concerns. There is repeated public criticism that data from WhatsApp is passed on to Facebook - and thus to the USA - which is not bound by the European General Data Protection Regulation. WhatsApp messages are always encrypted end-to-end. All sent media and text messages are therefore encrypted by the sender and can only be decrypted by the recipient.
But the biggest data protection problem with WhatsApp is that the messenger accesses the users' address book. Therefore, strictly speaking, as a business owner, you must obtain explicit consent from each customer if you want to communicate with them via WhatsApp. In addition, all other contacts in your address book must also agree to the use of WhatsApp. In practice, however, this is of course difficult or even impossible to implement.
The regular WhatsApp application is not data protection compliant according to the current General Data Protection Regulation and the WhatsApp Business App also has weaknesses in this regard.
The only secure solution to use a WhatsApp business account in compliance with the GDPR is the WhatsApp Business API. Via the interface, the messenger accesses neither contact nor metadata. The messages are still encrypted and the issue of data protection is entirely up to you and your WhatsApp Business API provider.
Only the WhatsApp Business API is GDPR-compliant
If you want to communicate with your customers via WhatsApp in a legally secure manner, the only DSGVO-compliant option is WhatsApp Business API. This is because WhatsApp API accesses the respective Facebook provider you use or your own server, which stores the personal data of your customers. If you yourself or the corresponding Facebook provider adhere to the applicable guidelines of the GDPR, the data will not be forwarded to WhatsApp or Facebook in the USA.
Advantages of a business account via the WhatsApp API
A corporate account via the WhatsApp Business API gives you extended possibilities to use the messenger in customer communication and marketing:
- Reaching a large target group
- Using WhatsApp in compliance with the GDPR
- Use with multiple devices
- Multiple employees get access
- Sending automatic replies
- Create WhatsApp templates
- Sending WhatsApp newsletters
WhatsApp is the most popular messenger in the world. Since its launch in 2009, the messenger service WhatsApp has gradually replaced SMS, which was still the norm until then. Every month, around two billion users worldwide use WhatsApp. These users send an incredible 65 billion text messages and about 4.5 billion pictures and photos every day.
In Germany alone, around 50 million people use the messenger service. According to studies, WhatsApp is used by about 90 percent of German smartphone owners. Initially, especially younger people used WhatsApp, but the app is now used by almost every age group.
WhatsApp Business DSGVO compliant with Superchat
With the WhatsApp Business solution from Superchat, you can use the messenger service in your company in a data protection-compliant manner. Through the API, the responsibility for how personal data is handled lies with you and Superchat as the provider. Your data is safe with us: Our servers are located in Germany, are encrypted multiple times and backups are created regularly.
Our team is by your side from the very beginning and helps you set up your WhatsApp business account. We show you all the features of the Superchat platform, guide you through the implementation and support you in setting up the WhatsApp Business API. After successful verification, you can use WhatsApp in a DSGVO-compliant manner, with multiple users and from multiple devices.
Would you like to learn more about the WhatsApp Business solution from Superchat? Contact us easily and without obligation here via WhatsApp, or write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!