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Comparison of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSPs)

Niloofar Kavousi
November 3, 2022

So you’ve learned about the basics and benefits of WhatsApp Business API. Now, how do you actually use it? WhatsApp does not offer access to its API directly. Instead, you have to contact one of WhatsApp’s official Business Solution Providers (BSPs) on Facebook’s Partner Directory and sign up for a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA). 

There are many Business Solution Providers to choose from, and each offers different pricing and functionalities.

Selecting a provider that best fits your needs can become overwhelming. How do you choose the right provider? Here are a few questions for you to begin with:

  1. What’s your messaging volume? Different BSP pricing models are suitable for different messaging volumes.
  2. What is your budget? We have a full guide on how much WhatsApp Business API can cost you in The Ultimate Guide to WhatsApp Business API Pricing.
  3. What WhatsApp features do you need? Not all BSPs provide the same features of WhatsApp Business Platform/API, including different message types. To learn more about the types of WhatsApp messages, please read our articles, One-Stop Guide for Interactive Messages, All About Interactive WhatsApp Message Templates.
  4. Are you a first-time user of WhatsApp Business Platform/API, or are you switching from one provider to another? Some providers allow you to switch, while others don’t. 
  5. Do you already have a phone number you’d like to use, or are you open to getting a new one? Some providers allow you to bring your phone number. Others need you to buy a phone number from them. There are also providers that don’t allow you to bring your phone number along when switching to a different BSP.

There is no single provider that caters to the needs of every business. Here, we help you make your own decision by giving you some general information on the differences between business solution providers. Then, we look closely at three major solution providers regarding their pricing, sign-up procedure, and WhatsApp functionalities you get.

General Differences Between Business Solution Providers (BSPs)

BSPs have different pricing models.

If you are an end-user of WhatsApp Business API and would like to use it for your customer communications, you must pay three entities:

  • WhatsApp
  • Your chosen Business Solution Provider (BSP)
  • A team inbox like Rasayel or a CRM to be able to send and receive messages. If you’re already using a CRM or an inbox that can integrate with WhatsApp Business Platform/API, you don’t have to consider a new one.

WhatsApp cost

WhatsApp charges you per conversation. A conversation is a 24-hour window from when your first message to a customer is delivered. You can exchange as many messages as you’d need in that period of time. Depending on who starts the chat, the customer or the business, the prices for a conversation differ. The price also depends on the country code of your customer. For more information on WhatsApp’s pricing, please visit Facebook’s page on Conversation-based Pricing or read our article The Ultimate Guide to WhatsApp Business API Pricing.

Business Solution Provider (BSP) cost

Business Solution Providers each have different pricing models. Some providers charge a fixed monthly fee per team or user, regardless of how many messages you send or receive. If you expect a high volume of messages, this pricing model should suit you. Other providers charge you based on the volume of messages you send and receive, a model that is suitable for businesses with low or unpredictable volumes.

Some BSPs lack a few WhatsApp Business Platform/API features.

By signing up to any provider, you are not getting access to the WhatsApp Business API itself, but only the API of the provider that’s linked to the WhatsApp Business API. As a result, some functionalities of WhatsApp Business API may be lost. 

WhatsApp Business API lets you switch providers; however, some providers make it difficult for businesses to switch away from them.

WhatsApp Business API supports various kinds of messages, but not all providers offer the full range:

If you’d like to learn about all of the message types that you can send via WhatsApp Business API, please read our blogs:
WhatsApp Message Types and Use Cases

One-Stop Guide for Interactive WhatsApp Messages

All About Interactive WhatsApp Message Templates

The Complete Guide to WhatsApp Message Templates for Your Business
.

Before selecting a Business Solution Provider, I recommend learning about the message types that WhatsApp supports, and the types that you need for your business.

The time taken to sign up with different BSPs can differ greatly.

With some providers, it takes less than 15 minutes, while with others, you need up to 4 weeks to get an account. You should aim to start your sign-up process as early as possible. 

Some providers don’t let you use any phone number that you want.

There are providers that require you to buy a phone number from them to be able to create an account. Others are open to creating an account for you with any phone number that you bring.

With some providers, you can see your messaging logs and history.

BSPs can provide you with different logs, such as reports of your messaging history, delivery errors, messaging volume, or logs for developers.

Comparison of 360dialog, Twilio and MessageBird

At Rasayel, we work with three major Business Solution Providers (BSPs):

  • 360dialog
  • Twilio
  • MessageBird

They differ in various ways, such as pricing models, the time needed to sign up with them, and the WhatsApp features they support.

360dialog

360dialog is the largest WhatsApp Business Solution provider globally and serves small businesses to enterprises. They focus solely on WhatsApp and are an excellent option for businesses that want to use WhatsApp Business API for customer communications, or those that want to build on the API.

How long does the WhatsApp account (WABA) signup take?

It takes 10-15 minutes to finish the signup process without Facebook Business Manager ID verification. You can use WhatsApp to communicate with your customers without the verification step, but you’d have the following limitations:

  • Send template messages/notifications to up to 50 unique customers in a 24-hour period per phone number
  • Have an unlimited number of customer-initiated conversations (24-hour messaging windows)
  • Register up to two (2) phone numbers, which can both be assigned to one WhatsApp Business accounts or split between two.

If you want to scale your business and increase your daily message quota, you need to verify your Facebook Business Manager ID. Depending on your company type and region, the verification can take 5 to 20 business days. Here’s more on Facebook’s verification process.

Phone number

You must bring a number (SIM or virtual) that meets the criteria defined by Meta. If your phone number is already registered in a WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Messenger account, you must delete the account first.

You can also port numbers from other BSPs to 360dialog.

360dilaog pricing

For more information about their pricing, please contact them here. They have three public pricing plans:

API only (starting €49)

A suitable starting point for most businesses.

Professional €99

Same as the API-only package, with premium customer support.

Enterprise (starting €200)

Best for large companies with ultra-high bandwidth.

Rasayel's partner price (US$15)

If you choose Rasayel as your WhatsApp inbox and 360dialog as your BSP, the cost of 360dialog is reduced to $15 per month. This is regardless of the number of messages you send and receive or the number of team members you have. Please WhatsApp us at +13024070488 or email us at support@rasayel.io for more information on this.

The above prices don’t include WhatsApp fees for your conversations. Those fees are passed on to you at the end of every month, as part of your 360dialog bill.

Types of supported messages and message templates on 360dialog

360dialog supports all types of messages and message templates that one can send with WhatsApp Business Platform/API:

Text-based messages 
Media-based messages (Share and receive images, videos, audio, GIFs, locations, and files)
Sharing contact cards
Sharing location
Interactive messages
     ✅ List messages
    Reply buttons
      ✅
Single-product messages
     ✅ Multi-product messages
Message templates
     ✅
Text-based message templates
     ✅
Media-based message templates
    ✅ Interactive message templates

Logs/Insights

You can see the number and the cost of business-initiated and user-initiated messages for each month.

The support that 360dialog provides

They have a ticketing system for support. You can create a ticket from your 360dialog account (360 Hub). Their support falls into two categories:

  • General support for general inquiries 
  • Specific number support for when you need help with a WhatsApp number or account.

Their response time for general support is less than 24 hours (during working hours).

WhatsApp Business Profile Management

From within your 360dialog WhatsApp account, you can add or change information about your WhatsApp Business profile:

  • Profile picture
  • About
  • Address
  • Description
  • Email address
  • Company website 
  • Business vertical

MessageBird

MessageBird supports not only WhatsApp but also SMS, email, voice, Instagram messaging, Google’s Business Messages, and also push notifications.

How long does the WhatsApp account (WABA) signup take?

It takes 2-4 weeks. Facebook Business Manager ID verification is necessary.

Phone number

You must have a number that meets the criteria defined by Meta, either by bringing your number or buying a virtual mobile number from MessageBird.

If you choose to bring your own number, it can’t have been used on WhatsApp before - even a personal or no longer used WhatsApp account.

If you choose a virtual mobile number from MessageBird and later you choose to switch to another provider, you cannot migrate the number to your new BSP.

MessageBird pricing

MessageBird charges $0.005 per user-initiated and business-initiated message (template or non-template) for all countries. This fee does not include the fee you’d need to pay WhatsApp for your conversations.

If your messaging volume is low, MessageBird could be a cost-effective option for you.

Types of supported messages and message templates on MessageBird

MessageBird supports some types of templates and messages, but not others:

Text-based messages 
Media-based messages (Share and receive images, audio, locations, files, inbound videos and inbound GIFs.)
❌Sending videos or GIFs
Sharing contact cards
Location
Interactive messages
     ✅ List Messages
    Reply buttons
      ✅
Single-product messages
     ✅ Multi-product messages
Message templates
     ✅
Text-based message templates
     ✅
Media-based message templates (The Header can be an image or a document. Currently, video is not supported.)
    ✅ Interactive message templates (Call-to-action buttons and quick-reply buttons)

Logs/Insights

You may see the dates and the volume of your messages sent and received per month.

The support that MessageBird provides

You can submit your inquiries on their website from a list of issue categories, or email them. There is no clear SLA for MessageBird support queries. 

Business Profile Management

From within your MessageBird account, you can add or change information about your WhatsApp Business profile:

  • Profile picture
  • Status
  • Address
  • Description
  • Email
  • Company website 
  • Business Industry

Twilio

Twilio is another BSP that serves businesses using WhatsApp, SMS, email, voice, and video calls.

How long does the WhatsApp account (WABA) signup take?

It takes 2-4 weeks. Facebook Business Manager ID verification is necessary.

Phone number

You must use a Twilio phone number; however, some non-Twilio numbers can be ported to the platform through a separate process.

Pricing

Twilio charges $0.005 per user-initiated and business-initiated message (template or non-template) for all countries. This fee does not include the fee you need to pay WhatsApp for your conversations.

If your messaging volume is low or unpredictable, Twilio could be a cost-effective option for you.

Types of supported messages and message templates on Twilio

Text-based messages 
Media-based messages (Share and receive images, videos, audio, GIFs, locations, and files)
Sharing contact messages
Location
Interactive messages
     ✅ List Messages
    Reply buttons
      ✅
Single-product messages
     ✅ Multi-product messages
Message templates
     ✅
Text-based message templates
     ❌
Media-based message templates 
     ✅ Interactive message templates

Logs/insights

Twilio offers the most comprehensive logs of any provider out there. You can access logs on all types of inbound and outbound messages, including the contents of each message, any errors that have occurred on your account, deliverability delays, webhook requests, and more. 

If insights and detailed logs are important to you, Twilio is your best option.

The support Twilio provides:

Twilio has four support plans with different costs.

Developer support plan (Free)

Every Twilio user gets free support which includes

  • API status notifications that show you whether any system is down.
  • Email support.

Production support plan (4% of monthly spend or $250 minimum)

It includes all of the developer support plan benefits plus

  • Guaranteed response time based on three priority levels (3 hours, 6 hours, and 9 hours)
  • Live chat support

Business support plan (6% of monthly spend or $1,500 minimum)

It includes all of the developer support plan benefits plus

  • Guaranteed response time based on three priority levels (24/7 for high-priority issues, 2 hours and 3 hours for lower-priority issues)
  • Live chat support
  • Phone support

Personalized support plan (8% of monthly spend or $5,000 minimum)

It includes all of the business support plan benefits plus

  • Technical account manager
  • Support escalation line
  • Quarterly status review

Business Profile Management

From within your Twilio account, you can change information about your WhatsApp Business profile:

  • Profile picture
  • Address
  • Description
  • Email
  • Company website 
  • Business Industry

If you need to update your display name, you’ll need to raise a support ticket.

Final Thoughts

Business Solution Providers differ from each other in many aspects, including their pricing models, support and functionalities of WhatsApp Business Platform/API that they provide. 

Before selecting a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, you need to consider a few things:

  • Your messaging volume
  • Whether you want to bring your own number or you’re open to using a new number
  • What functionalities of WhatsApp and message types you need for your business
  • Your budget
  • Whether you need to see reports on your messages, like your messaging volume and messaging history

Once you’ve figured out your needs, you’ll be able to select a provider with confidence.

Learn more

If you’d like help selecting a BSP, or to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at: +13024070488

We also offer a free consultation session where we go through your use case, answer any questions you have about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak you:

For Europe, Middle East, and Africa

For North and South America

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