WhatsApp Business Pricing: What Costs You Can Expect

More than 50 million companies are already using WhatsApp in their customer communication. But how much does WhatsApp Business cost and is it actually worth it?

In the digital age, customers expect convenience. Younger generations especially prefer texting over talking on the phone. WhatsApp Business makes it possible for companies to react to changing user behavior and connect with customers on their favorite channel.

In this article, we’ll give you a quick overview of your two options for WhatsApp Business – the WhatsApp Business App and API – and the steps for getting started.

  1. WhatsApp Business App: a free option for small businesses
  2. WhatsApp Business API: a scalable solution for every business
  3. How to get started with WhatsApp Business

1
WhatsApp Business App

The WhatsApp Business App is a solution built for smaller businesses. This makes it the ideal choice for local vendors without a dedicated support department, like the Indian meal delivery service Alikemom.

It works similarly to the WhatsApp app that you use to communicate with friends and family. Additionally, it comes with several specific features for business use, like catalogue, quick replies, automated messages and broadcasts.

One of the disadvantages is that the WhatsApp Business App is limited to a single user account and not suitable for bigger teams. Data protection can also be an issue as the app is not GDPR-compliant by default.

WhatsApp Business App pricing

The WhatsApp Business App is available for free in the App Store or Google Play Store. You can find step-by-step directions for a quick start in our post “ Your WhatsApp Business Account – From App to Z.”

Every WhatsApp account needs to be connected to one number only. If you want to use your private number, your account will be converted into a business account.

We recommend buying a new SIM card for your WhatsApp Business account before getting started. You might also need either a new cell phone or a dual-SIM phone.

2
WhatsApp Business API

The WhatsApp API was built to meet the needs of medium to large-size companies. Prominent use cases include Toyota and KLM although it’s also beneficial for smaller businesses.

Advantages are the easy scalability, full flexibility in adjusting to existing workflows and a secure GDPR-compliant setup. It also comes with dedicated enterprise features, like template messages and the option to add a WhatsApp bot

Unlike the WhatsApp Business App, the API (short for “ application programming interface ”) does not provide a user interface. Instead, you need to connect it to an authorized third-party software (i.e. "WhatsApp Business Solution Provider"), like Userlike's customer messaging platform.

Find out more about the WhatsApp Business API in our post “WhatsApp Business API – All You Need to Know.”

WhatsApp Business API Pricing

The WhatsApp API is an advanced solution that comes with a paid model. That said, there are many providers that enable affordable and simple access to the WhatsApp API for every business.

Userlike’s Message Center.
Receive and reply to your customers’ WhatsApp messages from Userlike’s Message Center.

These are the most common costs you should keep an eye on when deciding on a WhatsApp API solution provider:

Monthly costs

While you can download and install the business app yourself, you’ll need to work with an official “WhatsApp Business Solution Provider” if you want access to the API.

The costs can vary considerably depending on the provider, so it's worth spending some time comparing. To give you a benchmark example, MessengerPeople starts at $499 per month. Userlike , meanwhile, offers the WhatsApp channel for just $90 per month starting from the Team plan.

Set up costs

In addition to the monthly costs, some providers also charge a one-time implementation fee. For example, Vonage charges $1,000 per number.

There is no setup fee at Userlike.

Costs per conversation

According to the new pricing model (effective as of February 2022), WhatsApp now charges a fee per conversation and no longer per message template.

What counts as a “conversation”?

A conversation is a single 24-hour session that starts as soon as a business contacts a customer or responds to a customer’s initial message. All messages that are sent or received within the 24-hour service window are covered by the conversation fee.

Example image of a conversation between Kicks and a customer on WhatsApp

Example:

1. Shoe store Kicks initiates the conversation with a message template.

2. The customer replies shortly after with a message. Kicks thanks the customer with a session message. WhatsApp charges for all three messages as one conversation.

If the customer answers 24 hours later, the business won’t be charged since they’re the only ones who can initiate a new 24-hour window. If Kicks thanks the customer the next day at 9 am, the company is charged for a new conversation.

For more pricing examples, download the PDF at the bottom of Facebook’s article on conversation-based pricing.


How much does WhatsApp charge for a conversation?

Conversation charges vary by country and by who starts the conversation. User-initiated conversations are cheaper than business-initiated messages. In North America (Canada & USA) costs are around 1.5 cents for company-initiated messages and less than one cent for client-initiated messages.

Please note: “User-initiated” doesn’t mean that you have to pay for messages from clients. It only counts as a “user-initiated message” if you reply.

Receiving messages from customers is always free with the WhatsApp API.

Userlike covers your WhatsApp bill and transfers the fees to you without additional charges. You can find pricing for all countries on Facebook’s website by clicking on a currency rate card.

Monthly active contacts

Many providers, like tyntec or CM.com , tier their pricing based on the number of your monthly active contacts on WhatsApp. Keep this in mind, especially if you’re expecting a high volume on this channel.

Userlike does not have this kind of price bundling. You can receive and send unlimited WhatsApp messages for $90 in the Team plan without any extra costs.

Graphic shows a comparison between the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API.

3
How to get started with WhatsApp Business

Leverage the potential of WhatsApp Business and upgrade your customer communication with the world's most popular messaging app. A spot in your customers’ contact list automatically brings you closer to them, boosts your customer satisfaction and allows you to provide a smooth support experience.

Userlike logo and messaging logos

The WhatsApp Business API is a powerful, GDPR-compliant solution that works for businesses of all sizes and industries. With Userlike, you can get access to the API for just $90 per month – without any onboarding fees or additional costs per message. Signing up is simple so you can be up and running in 10 minutes.

Still, WhatsApp is not the only relevant messaging app. That’s why Userlike also provides access to more popular channels, such as website chat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Threema and SMS. All channels are combined in one business software, so you only need one platform for all your customer messaging activities.

Just reach out to us if you’re interested . We look forward to hearing from you and guiding you as you get started with the WhatsApp Business API!