With more than 2 billion monthly users and counting, WhatsApp is arguably the most popular consumer messaging and communication app in the market today. This tutorial walks you through the process of configuring your WhatsApp Business Account on Webex Connect.

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WhatsApp Business Platform vs WhatsApp Business App

WhatsApp Business Platform allows enterprises with large customer bases to automate customer interactions such as notifications, customer self-service, and enable live-agent assistance using APIs. On the contrary, WhatsApp Business App is a mobile app for small businesses that enables them to build an official presence on WhatsApp and use it for interacting with customers manually.

Interested in our WhatsApp Business Platform? Answer a few short questions here and we'll get in touch with you!

Configuring WhatsApp channel asset on Webex Connect

In order to configure WhatsApp account for business, you need a new mobile number and obtain a WABA certificate to verify the business contact WhatsApp number.

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Info

If you need assistance in setting up a WABA, contact [email protected]

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Managing WhatsApp account settings

Please use the Manage - WhatsApp page of the Webex Connect platform for updating the Business Account Settings. Although you can access your WABA from within the WhatsApp Manager portal if you have onboarded using the Embedded signup model, the following updates made from the WhatsApp Manager portal can impact your existing services - Business Account Settings, Template content, or the two-factor authentication settings.

Configure WhatsApp App Asset on Webex Connect

  1. To configure the WhatsApp app, sign in to the Webex Connect platform, go to Assets > Apps .
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  1. On the Apps page, click the Configure New App button and choose WhatsApp from the drop-down list of apps.
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  1. Enter the name of the WhatsApp account in the Name field on the Configure New App page.
  2. Select the Sign-up Method: Sign-up with Facebook (Embedded Sign-up Onboarding) or Manual.
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If you selected Sign-up with Facebook in the step 4 above, follow the below embedded signup process.

Embedded Sign-up

Using the embedded signup feature, the Business Providers can onboard their businesses directly from their websites to the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Prerequisites

The following are the prerequisites for the embedded signup:

  • A valid Facebook account.
  • Facebook business account with administrator access. If you do not have a business account already, you can create one during the signup process.
  • A valid phone number, which you can register as a sender. Note that you should not have any private or business WhatsApp account configured with this number. You also must have this number handy, because you’ll receive an SMS or a voice call during the verification process.
  • In addition, you’ll need the following details:
    • Business Phone Number
    • Company Name
    • Representative’s Email Address
    • Address
    • City
    • State / Province / Region
    • Country
    • Website
    • Business number Display Name
    • Business Category
    • Business Description

Before You Begin

This section briefs the guidelines you must follow during the signup and verification.

Phone Number

Make sure your phone number meets all the following requirements that are necessary for WhatsApp:

  • Must be active throughout the verification process, because you will receive an SMS or a voice call with OTP to confirm the number.
  • Must not be a short code or a toll-free number.
  • Must not be associated with any other WhatsApp Business Account.

What is WhatsApp Business Number Display Name?

Business Number Display Name is the name which your customers see on your WhatsApp Business profile. Whenever you add a phone number to your WhatsApp Business Account, you are prompted to add a display name for it.

Display names should be related to your business and must not violate WhatsApp Commerce and Business policies. In addition, the display name must comply with our display name and formatting guidelines to send messages using the WhatsApp Business Platform or to qualify for the WhatsApp Official Business Account policies. In addition, the display name must comply with our display name and formatting guidelines to send messages using the WhatsApp Business Platform or to qualify for the WhatsApp Official Business Account.

Business verification and Display Name review

WhatsApp Business display name review and account checks aren’t required to get started on the platform. You can immediately start sending messages to customers. After signup a compliance check with the WhatsApp Business Platform Policy is automatically conducted.

You must initiate the business verification process when you’re ready to scale your business-initiated conversations or request to become a WhatsApp Official Business Account.

After the business verification is complete, the display name review for all phone numbers associated with your account will be initiated. Once the display name review is initiated, any new display name change will have to be reviewed and approved before it can be used.

Once the business verification is completed and the display names for all phone numbers are approved, your business can have increased messaging and phone number limits.

WhatsApp Official Business Account

If your business desires to have an WhatsApp Official Business Account, it must be considered a notable business that has a substantial presence in news articles from publications with sizable audiences. WhatsApp Official Business Accounts are issued for phone numbers. With the same phone number, you can use the current or a new business name to apply for the WhatsApp Official Business Account.

Once you have initiated business verification, please reach out to your support contact it you intend to become a WhatsApp Official Business Account.

Learn more

Access Levels

Based on the progress of the WhatsApp approval process, the classification of the sender types is done. Note that each sender type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The different sender types are as follows:

  • Sandbox: A sandbox sender is a sender who has completed the embedded signup process but waiting for the WhatsApp approval. As a sandbox sender, you can send messages, but with the following limitations:
  • Approved with Limited Access
  • Approved
  • Verified

Sandbox Sender

A sandbox sender is a sender who has completed the embedded signup process but waiting for the WhatsApp approval.

As a sandbox sender, you can send messages, but have the following limitations:

  • Notifications: Two phone numbers and 10 messages a day
  • Customer care: 10 phone numbers and unlimited messages

Note that these limitations are only until the WhatsApp approval process is finished.
Besides, you can use only the first number that is added to each WhatsApp business account through the embedded signup process. All the other numbers which are added to the WABA account will need to wait until they receive the approval from WhatsApp.

You can maintain the unverified status only for 30 days or until your WABA account is approved. If your account is not approved within 30 days, you will not be able to send any messages.

Approved Sender with Limited Access

An approved sender with limited access is a sender who has completed the embedded signup process and the WhatsApp approval process, but not completed the business verification. Note that the business verification is optional.

As an approved sender with limited access, you can use your account for business purposes and send messages, but will have the following limitations:

  • Notifications: Send templated messages to up to 50 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period
  • Customer care: Unlimited messages
  • Senders: Register up to two unverified WhatsApp senders. You can assign the senders either to the same WhatsApp business account (WABA) or split the senders between two WABAs.

Approved Sender

An approved sender is a sender who has completed the embedded signup process, the WhatsApp approval process, and the business verification, but not completed the sender verification. Note that the sender verification is optional.

As an approved sender, you can use your account for business purposes and send messages with the standard WhatsApp messaging limitations.

You will be able to use the following features:

  • Register more than two phone numbers
  • Send templated messages to more than 50 customers daily

Verified Sender

A verified sender is a sender who has completed the embedded signup process, the WhatsApp approval process, the business verification, and the sender verification.

As a verified sender, you will have a “verified” badge associated with your company name in WhatsApp. The customers will have more confidence in your business because they can be sure that your company is legitimate.

Embedded Sign-up Onboarding

  1. If you select Sign-in with Facebook.
    A pop-up appears.
  1. Click Add WhatsApp Business. You can use the existing account or create a new account.
  1. Click Get Started.
  1. Click Continue.
  2. Select the existing Meta Business Account or Create a new Meta business account.
  1. Click Continue.
  2. Select the existing WhatsApp Business account (WABA) or Create new WhatsApp Business account.
    Click Continue. A confirmation page appears.
  1. Click Continue to Step2.
  1. Select the existing WhatsApp Business Profile or create a profile.
  2. Click Continue.
  1. Select the existing WhatsApp number or create a number to integrate to your WhatsApp Business Account and click Next.
  1. When prompted, enter the OTP to confirm the number.
  2. The screen shows that the information is being processed.
  1. Once the process is done, Steps to verify your business screen appears.
  1. Click one of the following:
  • Verify in Facebook: a new tab opens with the verification screen. Complete the verification.
  • Done with Verification? Proceed: takes you to Step 20.
  • Skip Verification: displays the following screen. Click Proceed.

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    Note:

    If you skip the verification, you can only send notifications to two numbers and have 10 customer -initiated conversations. Once you submit the documents for verification, you will be allowed for 1500 customer -initiated conversations.

  1. The Setup process for your WhatsApp Business Account starts.
  1. On the Fetched WABA ID’s screen, click Integrate with Webex Connect associated with the account you would like to integrate.
  1. Once the permission to manage account is received, the phone numbers associated with the WABA are fetched. Select the number you want to integrate and click Integrate with Webex Connect.
  1. Once the pre-approved templates are added and the shared Webex Connet’s credit line with WABA is set up, the screen shows a Ready for Setup message.

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    Note

    Credit line cannot be changed after being attached to a WABA. If you have integrated with a different credit line in the past, you must create a new WABA to use Webex Connect's credit line and then migrate the phone numbers to the new WABA if needed.

  2. Go to your tenant and navigate to AssetsApps. Select WhatsApp from App Type.
  3. Select the WhatsApp number that is integrated using the above steps.
  4. On the Mange WhatsApp page:
    • The credentials that are approved show the Approved icon.
    • The credentials that are pending approval show the Pending-approval icon.
    • The credentials that are rejected show the Rejected icon.

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Note

WhatsApp allows you to use two numbers without having to verify, with limited conversations and limited number of transactions.

Manual Sign-up

If you selected Manual in the step 4 above, follow the below procedure:
a. Enter the name of the WhatsApp account in the Name field on the Configure New App page.
b. Choose the relevant country code from the drop-down list box in the Credentials section and enter the purchased phone number in the Number field.

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Configure New WhatsApp App

c. Obtain the WABA ID (WhatsApp Business Account ID) from the support team/your account manager and enter it in this field. The WABA ID identifies the templates available for a specific mobile number.

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Note

You can create your own template via tools -> templates section in the platform, which needs to be approved by the WhatsApp. Once approved it will be available in the send node. In other words, every template message should be registered in business manager to be send to the customers.

d. Register your purchased mobile number to get a unique certificate that you provide in the Certificate field. If you require any assistance with the certificate, write to the support team / your account manager.
e. Choose Text or Voice as the Verification Type and click the Verify Number button on the bottom-left of the screen to verify your account and complete the configuration.
f. The OTP initiates few minutes after clicking "Verify Number" button and is valid within 24 hours after it was initiated.

Once the verification is complete, you can see your WhatsApp app on the Apps page.

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Verification OTP on Virtual numbers - WhatsApp

If you are using a virtual number you can face issues receiving verification SMS/Voice OTP. Please contact your regional support contact/account manager for assistance on setting up your WhatsApp app.

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Template API usage

The template should be registered and approved from Tools -> Templates section within Webex Connect platform, before it can be used to send notification messages. You can also use interactive message templates like Call-To-Action buttons or Quick Replies buttons. You can also use authentication templates for OTP and Auto-fill features.

Registering your WhatsApp App Asset with Webex Engage

  1. Go to Assets -> Numbers.
  2. Select Phone Number from the Number Type.
  3. Select the required Phone Number which you want to register with Cisco Webex Contact Center.
  4. Click Manage.
    The Manage Phone Number page displays.
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  1. Click Register to Webex Engage.
  2. Select the required service and click Register.

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Note

This should be the Webex Connect service that would be used for configuring WhatsApp flows for Webex Engage.

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A message displays “Asset registered successfully”. This completes the asset registration for Webex Engage.

As shown above, you will see a Webex Engage icon and a PCI check enabled flag next to the number once it's been successfully mapped with Webex Contact Center.

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Note

  1. Please note, the service mapping cannot be changed once done. Hence, the asset registration on Webex Engage should be done after the service to be used has been decided.

  2. Do not release a number that you are using for providing customer support over WhatsApp as a channel as it will cause disruptions to live services. Released numbers are delinked from your Webex Connect and cannot be restored.

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Entrypoint Configuration

Once the asset is registered on Webex Connect, the entry point mapping should be done on the Cisco Webex Contact Center portal as well.

Business Account Settings

You can register the details of the business account like the About, Address, Business Category, Contact Email, Business Description, Website URL 1 (the primary website), and Website URL 2 (the secondary website). Click the Upload button to browse and select an image that will be displayed as the logo.

As per the WhatsApp guidelines, when you upload the image, the WhatsApp Business Platform Client will scale and crop the uploaded the profile pic and render it as a square image. Therefore, the image that you use for your business logo must comply with the following:

  • Maximum size of 5 MB
  • Image height or width not less than 192 px
  • Image resolution of 640x640.

These business account settings appear to the users when they view your business profile on WhatsApp.

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Managing Business Account Settings

Please use the Manage - WhatsApp page - Business Account Settings section of the Webex Connect platform to update any Business profile information. Although you can access your WABA from within the WhatsApp Manager portal if you have onboarded using the Embedded signup model, it may impact your existing services.

Refer to the screenshot below: