WhatsApp Business Account- what is a WhatsApp Business Account anyway?
Privately, almost every smartphone owner uses the popular messenger WhatsApp – in 2020 the company broke the mark of 2 billion users worldwide. So why not use it to communicate with customers as a retailer or restaurant, since the messenger seems to be the preferred communication channel for consumers?
Not only can users send conventional text messages. In addition to instant messaging, Voice-over-IP voice and video calls and the sending of voice messages, images, documents or live locations are also possible. In some pilot countries, additional functions such as the in-app search for local shops or the communities feature.
With the WhatsApp Business App for small and medium-sized companies and the WhatsApp Business API for medium-sized and large companies, the messenger has been offering two solutions for companies since 2018 and 2020.
Today we will explain you what a WhatsApp business account is, why you need it and how you can use it in compliance with the GDPR in your company.
What is a WhatsApp Business account?
The WhatsApp Business account is a requirement for using WhatsApp Business or the WhatsApp Business API. A WhatsApp Business account gives businesses access to advanced features tailored for business use that are not found in the WhatsApp non-business application.
For end users and your customers, WhatsApp corporate accounts are relatively easy to distinguish from private WhatsApp accounts. A business account on WhatsApp is marked with “official business account” or “business account” in the profile.
In 2018, WhatsApp Business has been released as the first option officially approved by WhatsApp to use the messenger as a company. The best way to think of WhatsApp Business is as an extension of the regular WhatsApp application, which is still free for businesses, too. WhatsApp Business is specifically aiming at small businesses that want to present themselves better on WhatsApp and offer their customers and guests a channel that is familiar and convenient to them.
A WhatsApp business account, for example, enables text modules to be saved for answers to frequently asked questions, e.g., what are your opening hours? Creating a company profile as with Google, Facebook and Instagram and the sending of automated messages.
Although WhatsApp Business is intended for commercial use, it is not GDPR compliant and therefore not the optimal solution. More on that later.
WhatsApp Business API
The WhatsApp API has also been available for larger companies since 2020, but it can only be used via suitable third-party providers. Access to the API must first be requested from WhatsApp or Facebook. When the account is activated, companies can operate the WhatsApp company account via the Facebook Business Manager or via the respective WhatsApp API provider.
In addition to text modules or automated messages, companies have many other features at their disposal. This includes the usage on different end devices and with several users at the same time as well as sending newsletter messages. The biggest advantage: The WhatsApp Business API is GDPR-compliant thanks to end-to-end encryption. The biggest disadvantage: The application is subject to a fee, so it is usually of no interest to smaller companies.
What does “This is a chat with a business account. Tap here to learn more”? mean?
To offer users more transparency, WhatsApp flags conversations with the company accounts. When a chat is started with a business, customers can see if it’s a business account. Also, customers can see if the business is accessing the conversation through Facebook or other platforms.
Customers see the following when chatting with a business:
- When companies use WhatsApp through a partner: “This company works with other companies to manage this chat.”
- When businesses access WhatsApp through Facebook: “This business uses a secure service provided by Facebook to manage this chat.“
Is WhatsApp Business GDPR compliant?
As the application for private users is repeatedly criticized, the commercial use of WhatsApp is also associated with data protection concerns. There is criticism that WhatsApp data is passed on to Facebook and thus to the parent company Meta in the USA, which is not bound by the European General Data Protection Regulation. WhatsApp messages are always end-to-end encrypted, i.e., all media and text messages sent are encrypted by the sender and can only be decrypted by the recipient.
However, Messenger accesses the address book of the user. Therefore, as a company owner, you would, strictly speaking, must obtain the express consent of every customer if you want to communicate with each other via WhatsApp. When your customer contacts you regarding a product availability or an order and you have to get their consent first, this obviously disrupts the flow of the conversation and does not ensure a smooth shopping experience.
You don’t want to pay for the WhatsApp Business API, but still want your customers to be able to contact you via their most popular messenger in compliance with data protection regulations?
WhatsApp Business in compliance with GDPR with mPocket
With the integrated WhatsApp business solution from mPocket, you too can use the messenger service in your company in compliance with data protection regulations. Our ISO-certified, SSL-encrypted servers are located in Germany and are backed up every day.
So, you don’t have to ask your customers for their consent, but confidential data such as contract data for the new mobile phone contract can be sent.
But WhatsApp is not the only contact option that our solution covers in compliance with data protection regulations. Use mPocket to centralize all messengers such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, SMS or your own web chat in our application to provide your customers with a seamless real-time experience.
Do you need help setting up your WhatsApp Business account? We are happy to provide our support. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.mpocket.io. We look forward to hearing from you.
*For reasons of better legibility only the simultaneous use of male and female language forms is not used. All personal names apply to both genders.
Marketing & Communication Manager mPocket
Stay up to date!