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How To Choose A WhatsApp Partner: WhatsApp Business API Pricing

By November 30, 2019 December 10th, 2019 No Comments
How To Choose A WhatsApp Partner: WhatsApp Business API Pricing

Choosing the right WhatsApp Partner for your business needs is essential. This article breaks down all the WhatsApp Business pricing information you need to select the right WhatsApp API Partner. We discuss WhatsApp Business API Pricing and the various WhatsApp API pricing options available through your chosen WhatsApp API Partner. We discuss Twilio WhatsApp Pricing, MessageBird WhatsApp Pricing, Nexmo WhatsApp Pricing, and Infobip WhatsApp Pricing.

Why You Need a WhatsApp Partner?

Getting a WhatsApp Business Number: Best WhatsApp Partner

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: Best WhatsApp Partners

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: WhatsApp Partner Comparison

Why You Need a WhatsApp Partner?

WhatsApp is using WhatsApp Business to generate revenue. However, the key focus is always to keep WhatsApp as the best platform for messaging amongst regular users. WhatsApp decided to start rolling out WhatsApp API to enterprises first and decided to do so through WhatsApp Partners. Thus, WhatsApp API accounts are currently only available through WhatsApp Partners.

Typically, WhatsApp Partners are SMS providers, so when you connect you're connected to the partner API like Twilio API rather than directly to WhatsApp API. Therefore, different WhatsApp Partners offer different WhatsApp API pricing models, benefits, and features.

In this article, we will discuss four WhatsApp Partners; Twilio WhatsApp API, MessageBird WhatsApp API, Nexmo WhatsApp API, and Infobip WhatsApp API. We will be adding more WhatsApp Partners to the article in the future.

Criteria For Selecting A WhatsApp Partner

The two main criteria to base your decision on are:

  • which WhatsApp Partner can provide your business with a phone number in your desired country
  • which WhatsApp Partner has the best WhatsApp API pricing package for your use case and volume.

Getting a WhatsApp Business Number: Best WhatsApp Partner

Carefully consider the number you choose because you won't be able to change it later. If you already have a number you want to use, some WhatsApp Partners will be able to port that number for you.

If you're looking for a new number, some WhatsApp Partners will be able to sell you a number. However, not all partners can provide numbers in all countries. Below we will discuss numbers in the top 24 most popular countries for WhatsApp.

Porting An Existing Number to WhatsApp API

All WhatsApp Partners offer to port your number, but not all partners can port numbers in all countries. For porting capability for your specific number, it is best to contact the WhatsApp Partner directly.

Each WhatsApp partner has its own requirements for porting. Some providers can only port mobile numbers while others can port landline or even 1-800 numbers. Specific porting instructions will depend on the provider that you go with.

Currently, it seems like Infobip has the most capability for porting numbers. Keep in mind though that all porting requests are ultimately subject to rejection.

Acquiring A New Country Number for WhatsApp API

If you don't have an existing number, you'll need a WhatsApp Partner that can provide a number for you. Twilio, MessageBird & Nexmo can all provide numbers in certain countries.

Nexmo provides numbers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey & the United Kingdom. MessageBird provides numbers in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Twilio offers numbers in Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain & the United Kingdom. Infobip cannot provide any numbers. If you'd like to go with Infobip for WhatsApp you'll need to port a number you acquire. None of the above WhatsApp Partners provide numbers for Egypt, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. For these countries, you need to procure your own number and then request to port it with your WhatsApp partner of choice. If you don't have an existing number, you'll need a WhatsApp Partner that can provide a number for you. Twilio, MessageBird & Nexmo can all provide numbers in certain countries.
Best WhatsApp Partner: WhatsApp Number Availability

Nexmo provides numbers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey & the United Kingdom.

MessageBird provides numbers in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Twilio offers numbers in Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain & the United Kingdom.

Infobip cannot provide any numbers. If you'd like to go with Infobip for WhatsApp you'll need to port a number you acquire.

None of the above WhatsApp Partners provide numbers for Egypt, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. For these countries, you need to procure your own number and then request to port it with your WhatsApp partner of choice.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: Best WhatsApp Partners

The price you pay for WhatsApp Business API via a WhatsApp Partner has two components:

  • fee charged by WhatsApp
  • fee charged by the WhatsApp Partner

There is only one type of fee charged by WhatsApp. The template message destination charge. A template message is a type of message sent after the 24-hour session messaging window. Here you can learn more about WhatsApp Session Messaging and WhatsApp Template Messaging.

Different WhatsApp Partners have different WhatsApp API pricing models. Generally, these fees are made of several components:

  • set-up fee
  • monthly fee
  • messaging fee

Below we will compare the WhatsApp pricing of several WhatsApp Partners.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: Set-Up And Monthly Fees

The first factor to consider when selecting a WhatsApp API Partner is how much will it cost to get started.

Twilio WhatsApp pricing offers no set-up fee or monthly fees. Twilio offers variable pricing solely based on messaging fees.

MessageBird WhatsApp pricing is split into two monthly packages. MessageBird does not have a set-up fee. Their monthly packages are billed annually.

The $50 MessageBird Essential package includes 15k session messages and charges $0.02 per session message once you exceed this volume.

The $150 MessageBird Essential package includes 50k session messages and charges $0.005 per session message once you exceed this volume.

For Twilio's WhatsApp pricing, they offer no set-up cost and is the only provider in this list with no monthly fees.  MessageBird's WhatsApp pricing has no set-up cost but does require users to select from two monthly package options. The $50 MessageBird Essential package provides 15k free session messages and charges $0.02 per session message after the complimentary quota. The $150 MessageBird Pro package provides 50k free session messages and charges $0.005 per session message after the complimentary quota. It is important to note that both MessageBird monthly plans are billed annually. Of the WhatsApp Partners discussed here, only Nexmo and Infobip have a set-up fee. Nexmo charge a $2,000 set-up fee. Nexmo's WhatsApp pricing is structured into two monthly pricing options. Nexmo has created a special rate for India, at $450 per month. All other countries are charged $900 per month. There is no quota of free messages in the Nexmo monthly fee. It is valuable to note that India is currently the country with the highest rate of WhatsApp users. Nexmo is clearly aiming to be the WhatsApp Partner for this market with their pricing strategy The set-up cost for Infobip is $2,000 and their monthly fee is $1,500. For Infobip's WhatsApp pricing, their monthly fee includes 100,000 monthly active users (MAUs). The price per additional monthly active user beyond the given quota is $0.016.
WhatsApp Business API Pricing: WhatsApp Partner Set-up & Monthly Fees

Nexmo WhatsApp pricing has a $2,000 set-up fee. Nexmo charges $900 in monthly fees, with a separate rate for India, at $450 per month. Unlike MessageBird, no message allowance is included in this monthly fee.

Infobip WhatsApp pricing also has a $2,000 set-up fee. The monthly fee is $1,500, which includes 100,000 monthly active users (MAUs). The price per additional MAU is $0.016.

If you simply want to trial WhatsApp Partner services consider Twilio. Companies wanting to send high volumes of messages can find the best WhatsApp Partner and rates for them by checking out the per-message pricing table explained in the next section.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: Session Messaging Fees

A session message is a message that you send in response within 24 hours of a customer's message.

It can be difficult to compare price per message directly because some WhatsApp Partner pricing includes session messages in their monthly packages and others don't.

To factor this in, when a WhatsApp partner has messages included we've divided the included messages by the monthly fee.

A session message is a message that you send in response within 24 hours of a customer's message. You can learn more about session messaging here. It can be difficult to compare price per message directly because some WhatsApp Partner pricing includes session messages in their monthly packages and others don't.  To factor this in, when a WhatsApp partner has messages included we've divided the included messages by the monthly fee. Twilio, Nexmo and Infobip have simple per-message fees. Twilio charges $0.005 per session message. Nexmo charges $0.007 per message or $0.0024 in India. Infobip doesn't charge any fee per message. MessageBird has the Essential and Pro packages. In the $50 Essential Package, they include 15k session messages with a $0.02 per message fee thereafter. The $150 Pro package includes 50k session messages with a $0.003 per message fee thereafter.
WhatsApp Business API Pricing: WhatsApp Partner Session Messaging Fees

Twilio, Nexmo and Infobip have simple per-message fees. Twilio charges $0.005 per session message. Nexmo charges $0.007 per message or $0.0024 in India. Infobip doesn't charge any fee per message.

MessageBird has the Essential and Pro packages. In the $50 Essential Package, they include 15k session messages with a $0.02 per message fee thereafter. The $150 Pro package includes 50k session messages with a $0.003 per message fee thereafter.

If you use up the entire bulk of included messages every month the cost per message is $0.003 for both packages. Because the number of session messages you use may be variable, it may be difficult to decide on the best value WhatsApp Partner.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: WhatsApp Partner Session Messaging Breakdown

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 0-10,000 session messages is Twilio. Companies sending small volumes of session messages will find Twilio's free set-up and no monthly costs the most cost-efficient option. Twilio allows for low financial commitment with their pay-per-usage WhatsApp pricing structure.

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 10,000-15,000 session messages is MessageBird Essential. MessageBird Essential ($0.003) is cheaper than Twilio ($0.005) within the 15,000 limits and the same price thereafter. The $50 monthly fee does not make sense below this message volume.

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 15,000-30,000 session messages is Twilio. Twilio offers the best session messaging rates. Twilio is best for companies sending moderate numbers of customer service messages unlikely to exceed 30,000 messages.

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 30,000-300,000 session messages is MessageBird Pro. At $0.003 per message for 50,0000 session messages and $0.005 per additional message, MessageBird Pro offers the most competitive price. This option is ideal for companies experiencing growth. There is room for message volume to increase or fluctuate without any significant impact on the message or package cost.

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 300,000 or more session messages is InfoBip. Infobip charges by monthly active users therefore the number of session messages a company can send within the 100,000 MAU limit is unlimited. However, Infobip's $1,500 monthly fee won't make sense for companies with significantly less than 100,000 monthly active users.

For Companies Sending High Volumes of messages to less than 100,000 monthly active users, MessageBird or Twilio's WhatsApp Business API Pricing structure is better suited for your needs.

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 300,000 or more monthly messages in India is Nexmo. Nexmo is the choice for companies sending very high volumes of session messages in the Indian market as they offer the best session messaging rate ($0.0024).

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: Template Messaging Fees

Sending messages to WhatsApp contacts 24 hours after their last incoming message requires using a WhatsApp template message. Template messages are strings of text, with placeholders, pre-approved by WhatsApp. In general, a template message is made up of two charges:

  • the WhatsApp Destination Charge applied by WhatsApp
  • the WhatsApp Partner Message Fee set by your WhatsApp Partner

In this article, the WhatsApp Business API pricing for template messages is based on WhatsApp's First 250k message rate. Eligibility for a WhatsApp template message volume discount, for volumes such as 300,000 as discussed below, is decided by:

  • the volume of template messages delivered to a given country or region in a calendar month
  • the country code of the message recipient

Keep in mind, template message volumes aggregated across countries or regions or different WhatsApp Business Accounts.

Businesses typically send fewer template messages to a given user per month than they do session messages. Session messages address customer service. Template messages, for companies such as airlines, will need to send template messages to high volumes of users to distribute flight status notifications. This makes the ability to send template messages to high volumes of users a valuable feature in a WhatsApp Partner.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: WhatsApp Partner Template Messaging Fees

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 0-300,000 monthly messages is Twilio, offering the lowest price at $1,500 per month. Companies sending 250,000 to 10 million template messages per month are also eligible for a Twilio discount.

While Infobip costs the same as Twilio, at $1,500 per month for 300k messages, the 100,000 monthly active user limit applies. Twilio is the better choice for companies interested in reaching unlimited numbers of users in a given month.

The Best WhatsApp Partner for 300,000 or more monthly messages in India is Nexmo. The cost per month for 300,000 template messages with Nexmo in India is $1,170, beating out Twilio and Infobip's price at this high message volume. For countries outside of India however, Nexmo does not offer the cheapest option for any volume of template messaging.

The WhatsApp pricing of MessageBird Essential and Pro does not currently offer competitive prices for template messaging at any volume of messages compared to the other WhatsApp Partners discussed in this article.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing: WhatsApp Partner Pricing Comparison

Overall, Twilio WhatsApp Pricing is a good option for small companies wanting to pay-per-usage, without costly set-up and monthly fees. Growing companies with moderate to high message volume requirements can choose MessageBird Pro for their competitive session message rates. Large enterprises looking to send high volumes of notifications to many users should also opt for Twilio. We will continue to monitor these WhatsApp Partners and their WhatsApp pricing models here.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this article and you'd like to learn more about WhatsApp Business API Pricing please check out our articles on:

Jacky Crawford

Jacky Crawford

Jacky is a Content Writer at Rocketbots. Her previous roles include positions at Standard Chartered, PARKLU, and ThirtyThree.

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