This guide contains all of the steps needed for your company to get started using WhatsApp with Vonage’s Messages and Dispatch API.
A Facebook Business Account and Business Manager
Since WhatsApp is a Facebook (FB) product, anyone wanting to use the platform needs to have a FB business page, and a FB Business Manager to support it. Refer to Facebook's documentation on how to create a FB Business Manager.
Once you have your FB Business Manager, you’ll need to find your FB 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.
Verified Facebook Business Manager
To complete your WABA, you must verify your FB Business Manager. This is the process of Facebook confirming the legitimacy of your business. See How to Confirm Verification of Your Business with Facebook, or follow Facebook's business verification documentation.
We recommend you complete the business verification process as soon as possible, as it can take some time to gather the necessary information and documentation, and for the FB team to review your application.
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 be being used elsewhere on WhatsApp - either on the personal app, the business app or with another WhatsApp Business API provider
- 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 FB 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. Verify your Business with Facebook
As explained above, you must ensure that your business is verified with FB. The remaining onboarding process cannot continue until this step has been completed.
4. Facebook Policy Reviews
Facebook will then review your WABA against two of their policy guidelines:
- Commerce Policy—FB 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.
- Display Name Guidelines—Your submitted display name will then be reviewed by FB. All display names must comply with WhatsApp's naming guidelines.
5. Vonage Setup on Post-Pay terms
You are able to use WhatsApp API with Vonage on our Pre-Pay billing model, and top-up your messaging credits as you go. However, if you are using a Mexican phone number, or wish to be billed via our Monthly Active User (MAU) pricing model, we will need to set you up on a Post-Pay service, where you will be invoiced monthly for your usage.
If we need to do this, we may ask you for some legal and financial information about your business. We will be in contact with you if this is needed.
If you are buying through a Partner, the Partner will sort this out for you.
6. OTP Verification Call
With all the above complete, you 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.
7. 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.
8. Green Label Application
The Green Label, or Official Business Account status, means your messages will appear as "Your Brand Name" in the WhatsApp GUI, rather than appearing as just the phone number.
Vonage will 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.