WhatsApp is the most popular private messaging app in the world, with over 1.5 billion active users a month. Its popularity will only increase given the general shift from public networks to private messaging taking place. That's why WhatsApp offers a huge potential for your brand’s customer service and marketing.
Falcon helps you seize this opportunity by offering full support for WhatsApp Business accounts. We offer an easy step-by-step flow to get you started and a complete integration with our existing infrastructure for handling customer engagement. Furthermore, we maintain end-to-end encryption and GDPR compliance.
Request a WhatsApp number and WhatsApp Business Account
Connecting WhatsApp to Falcon requires a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) and an approved WhatsApp phone number. Both can be easily requested from within the Falcon platform. Before following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, we recommend that you review the requirements for getting your number and your WABA requests approved by WhatsApp.
Connecting a phone number to the WhatsApp Business API is permanent and cannot be undone. If you are setting up a number for testing purposes, we recommend to use one that isn’t already in use on a Private or Business WhatsApp account.
WhatsApp Business Account requirements
A WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) is registered to a Facebook Business Manager (BM). Therefore, you need an existing BM before you can start a request for a WABA.
Don't have a Facebook BM yet? You can find instructions on how to create one here.
You need to be an Admin in the Business Manager in order to request a WhatsApp Business Account.
WhatsApp phone number requirements
WhatsApp has some requirements for the type of phone number that can be used. There are also certain requirements for what the display name of your number can be. We recommend reviewing WhatsApp's articles on picking a phone number and a display name.
Request a number and WABA
These are the step-by-step instructions for requesting a WhatsApp number and attaching it to a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA):
- In Falcon, go to Settings > Channels > Add Channel.
- Choose 'Connect' under WhatsApp. This starts the request flow.
- Click 'Continue' to create a request for a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA).
If you have one or more WhatsApp numbers already connected to Falcon, you can add additional phone numbers by clicking 'Request New' and continue with the below steps.
Provide a phone number and a display name for the WhatsApp account that you'd like to use for messaging. Click 'Continue'.
Choose either an existing WhatsApp Business Account to connect your number to or create a new Business Account.
- If you choose to create a new Business Account, enter your Facebook Business Manager ID that the WABA should be associated with. Also, add a name for your WABA. Then click 'Create Account'.
- Your request for a number (and optionally a Business Account) has now been sent to WhatsApp for approval. You will receive an email once there is an update for your request.
Choosing to add another phone number will initiate the request flow from the start again.
- In the meantime, you will receive an 'On Behalf Of' (OBO) request in your BM. It asks for approval so that Falcon can post on your behalf to your WhatsApp account. Log into your Facebook Business Manager and navigate to Business Settings > Requests > Received, and approve the request there.
- If your Facebook Business Manager is not verified yet, you can also start the required verification while you wait for an update on your WhatsApp request. You can find info on the verification process here.
After you've requested your WhatsApp number and/or WABA, and after you've approved the OBO request and verified your BM, WhatsApp will process the request. This takes at least 4 business days, and up to 10. You will be notified per email about any updates we receive from WhatsApp. In the email, you'll find instructions on further actions required.
WhatsApp request responses
If you requested a new WABA, WhatsApp will process it separately from your phone number request. Since these requests are handled separately, they can also get a response at separate times. Only when both requests are approved, can you establish the connection between your WhatsApp Channel and Falcon.
In the meantime, you can always check on the status of your requests. In Falcon, navigate to Settings > Channels and click the 'Requests' tab in the top left.
There are four possible statuses for your number requests and your WABA requests:
- Your request was approved by WhatsApp. If both your number and WABA are approved, you can go ahead and connect your WhatsApp Channel to Falcon.
- Your request is pending approval by WhatsApp. This takes at least 24 hours, and up to a few days.
- Action required
- WhatsApp has approved your requests. The ‘On Behalf Of’ request in your Facebook Business Manager needs to be approved by you. Log into your Facebook Business Manager and navigate to Business Settings > Requests > Received, and approve the request.
- Your requests can be rejected for various reasons. Your business might be related to alcohol, drugs, or betting. Your WhatsApp name might be rejected for using all-caps or including abbreviations, among other reasons. Review the WhatsApp phone number requirements and adjust your request accordingly before retrying.
Connect an approved WhatsApp Channel to Falcon
You got both your WhatsApp Business Account and number approved? Great! You can now complete the connection process and start using your WhatsApp number in Falcon:
- Go to Settings > Channels > Add Channel, or click the link in your email.
- Choose 'Connect' under WhatsApp.
Select the WhatsApp number that you want to connect and click 'Connect & Send SMS'. Please contact the Falcon Support team if you won't be able to receive text messages on the phone number.
- You will receive a text message on the WhatsApp number you selected. Retrieve the four-digit code from the SMS message and enter it in Falcon. Click 'Verify Number'. Then click 'Continue' when you've verified the account.
- Choose one or more teams to add the Channel to. Click 'Finish'.
Congratulations! Your WhatsApp Channel is connected to Falcon. You're ready to start handling WhatsApp content in the Engage module.
Looking for more info about handling WhatsApp content in Falcon and the use of Templates? Find out more here.
Spread awareness among your customers
Now that your WhatsApp number is up and running, you can start driving the adoption of your new service channel.
The best way to spread the availability of your number is to make it available on your contact page as a 'Click to Chat' link. Doing so allows your customers to simply click the phone number you've listed and instantly open a WhatsApp conversation with your customer service team. WhatsApp explains the options for creating such a link here.
Alternatively, you can also create a clickable WhatsApp button by inserting a code snippet into your website. Inserting the following code will generate the button shown below:
<div class="wa-message-us" number="15551234567">
Be sure to replace the number attribute value with your own WhatsApp number. Other attributes can be added to the
<div> element as html attributes, to further customize the button.
This value must be included as it is needed to generate your custom button.
This is your WhatsApp Business number without spaces, dashes or special characters .
|label||“Message Us on WhatsApp”||Optional
You can customize the button label.
This is the text that is prefilled in the user’s chat input when WhatsApp opens.
You can set your preferred button color. Choose between white, green, and teal.
You can set your preferred button size. Choose between compact and standard.
Set the border-radius of the button. You will need to include the unit as well, either px or %.
Below is an example of a customized button script snippet, and the resulting button:
pre_filled_message="I need help"
- After the Falcon integration, can I use my number in WhatsApp on my phone?
- No, WhatsApp does not allow usage of your number in the WhatsApp mobile app after it has been added as a business number in a WhatsApp Business Account.
- What if I already have a WhatsApp number in use?
If you are already using a non-business WhatsApp number for your business, you can switch it to a WhatsApp Business Account through Falcon. Simply follow the normal flow described in this article and provide your current WhatsApp number when asked which number you'd like to use.
When your WABA and number get approved, please reach out to the Falcon Support team to coordinate the number switch from your personal account to your business account.
- What if I already use 'WhatsApp Business'?
- If you already use a WhatsApp Business Account and number, they will show as approved in Falcon. You can choose to connect your WhatsApp number as described in the last few steps of this article.
- What if I already use a WhatsApp Business Account, but don't have an approved number yet?
- You can start the flow described in this article and request your preferred number. Your existing WABA can be chosen to connect your new number to.
- Does Falcon ensure end-to-end encryption?
- Yes, Falcon provides full end-to-end encryption and is GDPR compliant with servers in the EU.
- Can I add multiple WhatsApp numbers to one WhatsApp Business Account?
- Yes, you can request multiple numbers and add them to one WABA. For example, you can create separate numbers for your local markets, and add them to a Business Account.