People use messengers to keep in touch with their 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 API? Does the use of WhatsApp comply with data protection requirements? Here you will find the most important information and answers.
Interesting facts & figures about WhatsApp
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 acquired 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 and in the UK. According to a study by Statista, more than 2 billion people worldwide use WhatsApp every day.
What is WhatsApp Business?
Currently, WhatsApp offers two solutions for business use: the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API.
WhatsApp Business App
The WhatsApp Business App offers companies the possibility to use the messenger for communication purposes. WhatsApp Business is, so to speak, an extension of the normal app and is still free of charge. WhatsApp Business 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 GDPR 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 multiple smartphones and by multiple employees is not possible.
Note: A normal WhatsApp account should not be used for customer communication. This is only intended for private communication and does not meet the data protection requirements for commercial use. Here, too, WhatsApp has access to sensitive user data.
WhatsApp Business API
The WhatsApp API enables businesses to use the messenger GDPR-compliant and has been accessible to companies since 2018. Unlike WhatsApp Business, the API is not free of charge. The use of the API is possible via a provider, must be verified via WhatsApp or Facebook and can only be used after confirmation.
After activation, the WhatsApp corporate account is accessible via the respective third-party provider, such as Superchat. This solution allows multiple users to access WhatsApp from different devices.
|WhatsApp API||WhatsApp Business|
|Suitable for||Companies of all sizes||Small businesses|
|Availability||Access via API provider||Download for iOS & Android|
|Setup||Via API Provider||Independently|
|Price||Depends on provider||Free of charge|
What does WhatsApp Business cost?
The WhatsApp Business app can currently be used free of charge and is particularly suitable for individual users who want to use the messenger commercially. The WhatsApp API, on the other hand, is subject to a fee, whereby the prices differ depending on the provider.
From February 2022, WhatsApp will introduce a new pricing model for the WhatsApp API. In future, WhatsApp will differentiate between user-initiated messages and business-initiated messages. Business-initiated messages will cost €0.1131 and user-initiated messages will cost €0.0679. The charge is not per message sent, but per conversation that takes place within a 24-hour time window.
One advantage of the new pricing model is that the first 1000 conversations are free. Only after this quota is used up do the conversations become chargeable.
The WhatsApp Business API is accessible via platforms like Superchat. With Superchat, you have the possibility to use WhatsApp Business GDPR-compliant and with several employees in your company.
Is WhatsApp Business compliant with the GDPR?
Although the WhatsApp Business app was designed for small businesses, it is not compliant with the GDPR regulations due to various aspects. Only the WhatsApp Business API can be used in a company in a GDPR-compliant manner.
This is why WhatsApp is being criticised
Due to data protection concerns, WhatsApp and other messengers are repeatedly criticised. In order 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.
WhatsApp collects a lot of personal data. This includes the profile name, phone number or location. In addition, the messenger app has access to metadata of individual messages. With this metadata, it is possible to trace who sent a message, when and to whom.
Apart from that, WhatsApp can read users' address books, store automatic back-ups unencrypted and theoretically pass on data to its parent company Facebook. Even though the American messenger service continues to record high user numbers, many people are switching to messenger alternatives for these reasons.
The WhatsApp Business App is not GDPR-compliant
As a business owner, you are responsible for both the collection and processing of personal customer data. Although communication via WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, this does not make it GDPR-compliant. Since WhatsApp Business still accesses metadata and contact lists, its use is problematic from a data protection perspective.
On the safe side in terms of data protection with the WhatsApp Business API
Despite criticism, many people continue to use WhatsApp. This makes WhatsApp an attractive communication channel for businesses. If you want to use WhatsApp GDPR-compliant in your company, the WhatsApp API is the only solution.
Via the API, the issue of data protection lies with you and your WhatsApp API provider. The messenger can be used for communication with customers in a legally compliant manner via an order processing contract (AV contract) with the respective company and a series of further data protection measures.
We all use WhatsApp every day. That's why it makes sense to use WhatsApp for customer communication as well. The WhatsApp Business API is the best and most secure way to communicate with customers in compliance with the GDPR.Yilmaz Köknar, CEO & Co-Founder of Superchat
What is the WhatsApp Newsletter?
Until about two years ago, companies could use WhatsApp newsletters to share information and news with interested parties via push messages. In December 2019, WhatsApp announced the temporary end of the WhatsApp Newsletter.
Businesses have been able to send push messages to customers again since mid-2021. This is now possible via Session Messages and Template Messages. Session messages can be sent by companies, assuming that the customer has initiated the contact in advance. Template messages are prefabricated messages that contain, for example, advertising or news. These must be checked and approved by WhatsApp in advance.
It should be noted that consent (opt-in) of the recipients is required for these messages and the WhatsApp Newsletter can only be used via the WhatsApp Business API.
For whom is the WhatsApp Business API suitable?
For companies that see WhatsApp as an important communication channel, want to use the messenger with several employees and value data protection, the WhatsApp API is the optimal solution.
WhatsApp API advantages for businesses:
- WhatsApp business profile with important basic information
- GDPR-compliant use of WhatsApp Business
- End-to-end encrypted messages
- Use with multiple employees and across multiple devices
- Creation of automated responses and message templates
- Fast and uncomplicated response to customer enquiries
- Active sending of offers and news with the newsletter function
WhatsApp API advantages for customers
- Fast 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 API, you give your customers an easy and natural way to get in touch with your business.
With the WhatsApp Business API, you can use WhatsApp in a GDPR-compliant way to communicate with your target group.
Set up a WhatsApp business account
Accounts that are used via WhatsApp Business or the WhatsApp Business API are called company accounts. But how do you actually get a WhatsApp Business account?
- In order to be able to use the WhatsApp Business API, the WhatsApp company profile must be verified via the Facebook Business Manager.
- A telephone number must be stored in the WhatsApp customer service channel. Here you can specify both a mobile and a landline number.
As a Superchat customer, you will 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 possible. Via the WhatsApp solution from Superchat, companies can use the messenger in a GDPR-compliant way to communicate with their target group.
Our team is at your side right from the start and helps you set up your WhatsApp corporate account and verify it. If you wish, we can get you a new number for your WhatsApp business account. With Superchat, you 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.
All functions of Superchat at a glance
- All communication channels in one inbox
- WhatsApp Business 100% GDPR compliant & with multiple users
- Sending newsletter messages directly via WhatsApp Business
- Webchat widget for your website
- Create message templates and out-of-office 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 into 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 any questions about our product? Contact us easily and without obligation here via WhatsApp, or write us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!