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?

Today's customers prefer convenience. Chatting instead of calling. Online shopping instead of in-store shopping.

Whatsapp Business lets companies respond to changing user behavior and be available on a channel their customers already use every day.

The benefits of WhatsApp for businesses are clear. But what costs should you expect if you want to offer WhatsApp support?

This article will give you a brief overview of how to set up WhatsApp Business and what costs you can expect for the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API.

Free WhatsApp Business App

The WhatsApp Business App was developed for small businesses with up to five employees. It’s an ideal solution for small, local businesses that don’t have a professional service department, such as Hofladen Sauerland.

The app works similarly to the private WhatsApp people use to talk to friends and family. It also offers businesses some handy additional features for efficient messaging support such as quick replies, a catalog and broadcasts.

One disadvantage is that the WhatsApp Business App is limited to a single employee account, which makes it not suitable for professional customer service - for example, you can’t track which employee sent which messages. Depending on how it’s set up, it’s also problematic in terms of data protection and isn't GDPR-compliant.

WhatsApp Business app at a glance

  • Accounts: 1
  • Connectable devices: 5
  • Assign chats to employees: No
  • Approved WhatsApp newsletters: No
  • Sales and support features: Basic features
  • Privacy compliant: No

How much does the WhatsApp Business App cost?

The WhatsApp Business App is free to download from the App Store and the Google Play Store. You can find our step-by-step guide on how to set up your WhatsApp Business account in our article: “WhatsApp Business Account from app to z - features, costs, setup.”

Only one number may be used per WhatsApp account. If you use your existing private number, your account will be converted into a WhatsApp Business account.

We recommend using a new number for WhatsApp Business. This means you’ll need a new SIM card and either another cell phone or a dual-SIM-capable smartphone.

WhatsApp Business Premium: Paid version of the WhatsApp Business App

WhatsApp Business Premium is a subscription model of WhatsApp Business that adds more features to the WhatsApp Business App. Currently, these are the two features you get with WhatsApp Business Premium:

  • The number of linkable devices is increased from four to 10. This means WhatsApp Business Premium subscribers can use a total of 11 devices. Just like the basic version, you can only use a smartphone; all other devices must be desktop-based. Tablets are also excluded. You can also assign chats to specific employees to better organize team collaboration.
  • In the basic version, the automatically generated "WhatsApp website" for your company consists of a brand name and profile picture. In the premium version, opening hours, address, a link to your website and the WhatsApp catalog are added. In the basic version, the link to the website is created based on the phone number (the so-called wa.me link ), but in the premium version you can choose your own link name, which redirects to your company overview (as long as it’s not already taken). The WhatsApp website shows the information you store in the WhatsApp Business App. For example, if you change the opening hours in your WhatsApp Business profile, it will also reflect on the website.

WhatsApp Business Premium is worthwhile for your company if you’re happy with the business app's feature range but plan to add more employees and want to keep a better overview of who answers which chats. However, WhatsApp Business Premium isn’t suitable for mid-sized and large companies. It still lacks many support features that are standard in professional chat support, such as employee routing, forwarding and chatbots. WhatsApp offers the WhatsApp Business API for this purpose.

The data protection situation is also a problem for WhatsApp Premium. Since it can access the connected smartphone’s phone book, numbers are passed on to WhatsApp without consent. This doesn’t happen with the API.

WhatsApp Business Premium app at a glance

  • Accounts: 1
  • Connectable devices: 11
  • Assign chats to employees: Yes
  • Approved WhatsApp newsletters: No
  • Sales and support features: Advanced basic features
  • Privacy compliant: No

How much does WhatsApp Premium cost?

WhatsApp Premium is currently only available to select WhatsApp Business users. You can easily check if you’re eligible by opening the settings in the WhatsApp Business App. If the menu item "Premium" is listed, you can sign up for the subscription. You also have the option to sign up for a free trial month.

WhatsApp has yet to publicly share the prices for the Premium subscription.

WhatsApp Business Platform

The WhatsApp Business Platform is designed to meet the needs of businesses with professional service teams. It’s used by small and large businesses from car dealerships to language schools to brands like Decathlon and Toyota.

The WhatsApp Business Platform is not an app or software, but an external customer messaging software that connects to your WhatsApp account via an API interface. You can get a customer messaging solution from authorized providers ("Business Solution Partners") such as Userlike.

One of its many advantages is that it’s scalable and adapts easily to existing company processes.

With the connected customer messaging software, you get advanced sales and service features you can use in WhatsApp, such as intelligent routing to the most appropriate employee, automatic translations and chatbots. Also, only a WhatsApp Business Platform allows you to send approved WhatsApp promotional messages.

Most importantly, it’s GDPR-compliant, making it a secure option for WhatsApp support in business.

Userlike Message Center with a whatsapp conversation
Receive and reply to your customers' WhatsApp messages in Userlike's Message Center.

WhatsApp Business Platform at a glance

  • Accounts: unlimited
  • Connectable devices: unlimited
  • Assign chats to employees: Yes
  • Approved WhatsApp newsletters: Yes
  • Sales and support features: Professional features for customer communication
  • Privacy compliant: Yes

You can find more information about the WhatsApp Business Platform or WhatsApp API in our articles:

How much does the WhatsApp Business Platform cost? (+table)

Unlike the app, the WhatsApp Business Platform is not available for free because of its extended feature range and focus on data protection.

Costs incur according to the monthly plan price for the customer messaging software, and - if you have more than 1000 conversations per month - for the amount of conversations. But let's go through the individual costs in detail.

Monthly costs

While you can download and set up the free WhatsApp Business App yourself, you can only get access to a WhatsApp Business Platform through a respective customer messaging provider, i.e. official WhatsApp partners.

The costs vary depending on the provider you choose, so it's worth comparing your options. With SinchEngage, for example, costs start at €499 per month.

Userlike offers WhatsApp for just €90 per month, starting with the Team plan.

WhatsApp Business: Privacy, examples and first steps

In this guide, you'll find all the important info you need for using WhatsApp in business.

Download for free

Fees per conversation

WhatsApp charges cents per conversation (see the pricing table below). However, only if you exceed the monthly free quota of 1,000 conversations. Note that this free quota can only be used for service chats, i.e. conversations where a customer contacts you first. If you want to proactively write to customers, you can’t use the free conversations.

What counts as a "conversation"?

.A paid conversation includes a 24-hour session that begins as soon as the company writes to a customer or responds to a customer message. All messages sent and received within this 24-hour service window are covered by the session fee

Bild einer WhatsApp Unterhaltung mit Kicks

Example: Shoe retailer Kicks initiates the conversation with a message template (1), the customer responds a short time later with a message (2). Kicks thanks them with a session message. WhatsApp only charges for one conversation for all three messages.

If the customer were to respond 24 hours later, this message would also be free of charge, because only the company can open a new chargeable 24-hour window. If Kicks doesn't thank her until 9 a.m. the next day, it costs them one conversation and a new 24-hour window opens.

Tip: If a Facebook or Instagram user clicks on your click-to-WhatsApp ad, you can chat with them for free for up to 72 hours instead of just 24. The user automatically switches from the social media platform to the WhatsApp chat. All messages within the next three days are completely free. WhatsApp calls these special cases “Free Entry Points.”

How much does a conversation cost?

If you use up the 1000 free support conversations for the current month, charges apply that vary depending on the country and who initiates the conversation. Conversations initiated by the user, i.e. usually classic support chats, cost approx. 8 cents in the United States.

For conversations initiated by the company, WhatsApp divides it into three use cases: Utility, Authentications, and Marketing messages. Each use case has its own fee. In the United States, the costs for a utility message is about 2 cents, an authentication about 1 cent, and for marketing content about 1 cent.

Conversations in different categories can run in parallel or overlap. For example, if you answer a customer's support question at 3 p.m., a conversation in the Support category will open. If you send him a newsletter at 7 p.m., a conversation in the Marketing category will open. There is a charge for both conversations. You can send as many session messages and support templates as you like until 3 pm. the next day. And you can send as many session messages and marketing templates as you like until 7 p.m. the next day.

WhatsApp Business Platform — Price chart 2024

Latest prices as of June 1, 2023 User-initiated conversation (Service) Business-initiated conversation (Marketing - Utility - Authentication)
North America $0.0088 $0.0250 – $0.0150 – $0.0135
United Kingdom $0.0388 $0.0705 – $0.0398 – $0.0358
Germany $0.0819 $0.1365 – $0.0853 – $0.0768
The current prices for all available countries and currencies can be found on the Meta page under Rate Cards.

Note: "User-initiated" does not mean that a company pays for WhatsApp messages from customers. Only when you reply and start a session is this considered a "user-initiated conversation." For example, you don't pay if you receive an unsolicited message and don’t respond. Receiving messages from your customers is always free with the WhatsApp Business API.

You can find a current price overview of WhatsApp at Meta for Developers.

Real-life examples for current pricing model (since June 2023)

Scenario 1: Reply to support request within 24 hours with normal session messages

Image of a WhatsApp conversation with Kicks
  1. The customer sends a question about her reservation.
  2. The 24-hour service window does not start until Commercial Air delivers the reply message.
  3. If the airline responds immediately to the customer's message (e.g. "Happy to help. Have a nice flight"), there is no charge. If Commercial Air wants to respond or send a status update after the 24-hour window has expired, for example at 4 p.m. the next day, a new conversation will be charged.

Scenario 2: Automated transaction messages

Image of a WhatsApp conversation with Kicks
  1. The customer wants to check her order with Kicks, an online shoe retailer. She sends her message at 1.13 p.m.
  2. Kicks uses a chatbot that responds to simple order requests and immediately provides the customer with delivery details at 1.13 pm.
  3. The next day, at 3:45 pm, the Kicks bot notifies the customer that her order has been delivered. This message is sent outside the 24-hour service window using a message template. Therefore, a new conversation is charged for this notification.

Scenario 3: WhatsApp campaign with multiple template marketing messages

Nivea drives customers to its Mother's Day campaign on WhatsApp via an ad on Instagram. As this is a free entry point, there is no charge for the conversation. Nivea can now exchange messages for free for 72 hours, in this case template messages from the "Marketing" category.

Phone with a WhatsApp-Campaign from Nivea

But what happens if the customer changes the subject during the campaign, e.g. has a question about the order?

If the customer hadn't been led to the campaign through one of the free entry points, an additional conversation would now open in the support category (with the associated fee). However, because the conversation was started from a free entry point, a special rule applies: you can send any template type and session messages for free for 72 hours, regardless of its content.

Scenario 4: Combining two categories in one message template

Markt sends the customer a shipping confirmation and includes a discount offer in the message. The conversation is then no longer categorized as a transaction, but as a marketing conversation. When two use cases are mixed in a message template, then the more expensive category always applies. This is similar to the 2-for-1 offers in fashion stores, where the price of the more expensive product is charged.

Marketing-Kampagne von Markt
Source: WhatsApp

How to quickly and easily 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 customer’s contact list automatically bridges a close relationship, boosts customer satisfaction and provides better digital service thanks to innovative features.

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 – including our WhatsApp Campaigns feature, which allows you to send your customers unique WhatsApp campaigns in the form of newsletters, brochures or individual offers.

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 into one business software for all your customer messaging needs.

If you’re interested, please feel free to reach out to us on our website. We look forward to hearing from you and guiding you as you get started with the WhatsApp Business API!

Additional WhatsApp resources