Understanding WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app with two versions available for download – WhatsApp Messenger and WhatsApp Business App. While the Messenger version is meant for personal communication, the Business App is designed specifically for small local businesses looking for a free and convenient way to communicate one-on-one with customers, like answering customer questions or taking orders via chat.

WhatsApp Business App is free and can be downloaded directly from the Play Store or Apple Store. One of the most significant advantages of the WhatsApp Business App is that it provides useful features like broadcast messages, short links, quick replies, and labels. This can help small businesses reach their customers more effectively.

However, the business app has a few disadvantages that make it unsuitable as a communication channel for growing enterprises.

  • No integration with CRM platforms
  • There is no option to assign conversations to teams
  • No analytics and reports
  • Chatbots can’t be integrated
  • The GDPR and data protection are not 100% guaranteed

APIs for WhatsApp Business addresses these shortcomings. With a WhatsApp Business API account, sending bulk messages with upgraded features and benefits becomes easy.

WhatsApp Business API upgraded features & benefits

WhatsApp Business API Integration

API integration is connecting two or more applications to perform a joint function. API is different from a user interface (UI). UIs are used by humans to interact with software, while machines use APIs.

WhatsApp Business API is not downloadable like WhatsApp Business App. It doesn’t have a front-end interface. Instead, requires a reliable third-party interface or a Business Solution Provider (BSP) like Route Mobile for integration. BSPs are companies listed by Meta as solution providers that enable businesses to use the WhatsApp Business Platform API to its full potential. Two types of WhatsApp APIs are available for businesses: On-Premise API and Meta Cloud API.

Hosting software & integration costs

As mentioned, WhatsApp Business API can be hosted on a business software through On-Premise or Cloud API. Meta offers Cloud API, which is hosted on their servers, providing businesses with direct access to the API. The servers are located in North America, and the API complies with GDPR regulations. Additionally, local hosting options are available upon request. Businesses can apply directly to Meta for approval to use the WhatsApp Cloud API services.

This enables businesses to reduce costs by hosting their applications or services on Meta’s infrastructure while providing automatic software upgrades and security updates without imposing server charges. Businesses need to only pay per conversation fees to Meta. WhatsApp’s Cloud API gives businesses improved performance and higher potential throughput capabilities, allowing them to handle more messages efficiently.

To host WhatsApp API On-Premise, businesses need the assistance of BSPs. The BSP will host the API software either on the business’s server or its own server or data center. Depending on where the API is hosted, this approach affords more control over the server and greater data privacy. It also allows for customization and consideration of location, among other benefits. The business will be responsible for covering the expenses related to the setup, periodic maintenance, and cost per conversation. Business owners can customize certificate security settings to adhere to specific regulations.

Deciding which API is better

The decision to host your business software on an On-Premise or Cloud API depends on the specific use cases you are trying to address and does not affect the end consumer. Although the messages delivered through both integrations are the same, the appearance of the security encrypted message within the WhatsApp application may differ.

The example below is an illustration of how the message content is displayed.

On-Premise API encryption message display

 On-Premise vs Cloud WhatsApp API

Meta Cloud API encryption message display

On-Premise vs Cloud WhatsApp API

The WhatsApp Cloud API (uses Graph API) is an excellent option if you want complete control over your WhatsApp API account, with both the API and hosting provided by a single provider (Meta). A unified endpoint for data entry and exit from the Meta platform offers versatile access to data from WhatsApp and other integrated platforms. However, it is essential to note that setting up the Cloud API requires higher technical expertise despite being faster and more cost-effective.

Consider the WhatsApp On-Premises API if you need personalized support and assistance setting up the API. This traditional REST API provides separate endpoints for different resources, enabling precise control over WhatsApp’s business-related functions. If you require specific endpoints for different types of WhatsApp interactions, opt for this Business API instead. To apply for an API, you should follow a specific process.

We are certified partners with Meta and leading CRM providers like Leadsquared, Zoho, WebEngage, MoEngage, and CleverTap. Our elastic server capability ensures better throughput per demand with next-level reliability, featuring 99.99% uptime. We have assisted and improved global communications for over 500 brands, driving highly scalable massive campaigns without hiccups.

If you’re interested in learning more about our API hosting services or need help connecting with your existing messaging software or CRM, feel free to Contact Us. We can discuss your specific needs and determine the best hosting solution for you, whether on-premise or in the cloud.