WhatsApp charges businesses a different fee depending on who starts the conversation. But how big is this difference? And how much does it vary by region? GTC decided to find out. Here are the results…
Over the last 10 years, WhatsApp has risen to become the world’s number one app-based messaging tool. It now has well over 2 billion users.
Where consumers go, businesses follow. And so, unsurprisingly, WhatsApp is no longer just a channel through which friends keep in touch. Today, thousands of enterprises use WhatsApp too. In fact, they now have a dedicated service for business, which makes it easy for any company to create a profile, send quick replies and automate responses.
There’s no doubt that WhatsApp for Business is changing the A2P messaging landscape. While SMS remains extremely popular and powerful, WhatsApp offers something different. Most importantly, it facilitates two-way conversations between businesses and their customers.
This is why their business model is to charge per conversation. Businesses and users can exchange any number of messages, including template messages, within a 24-hour session for a single charge.
But here’s the important thing: WhatsApp prices these conversations differently depending on who starts the session. In short, it charges more when the business initiates the chat (in order to reduce the risk of spam).
WhatsApp provides a more detailed description of user-initiated and business-initiated conversations here.
Clearly, any business interested in using WhatsApp for marketing or customer care would like to know how the two price bands compare. But this information is not easy to find.
We decided to change that. GTC consulted the latest price table (in USD) which is available publicly here (correct at the time of posting). We then plotted the price of user-initiated (P2A) conversations alongside business-initiated (A2P) and grouped countries by region.
The results are intriguing
Overall prices vary quite dramatically by country. For example, in India WhatsApp charges 0.004c for a P2A session. But in neighbouring Pakistan, it’s more than three times higher at 0.014c.
We believe this kind of misalignment mostly echoes existing differences in A2P prices around the world. That said, the difference between P2A and A2P fees can also vary in some regions. Generally, WhatsApp charges a little under double the fee for business-initiated conversations as it does for consumer-initiated conversations. But there are exceptions. In Peru, it costs 0.018c for a P2A session and 0.060 when it’s A2P.
Check out the table below for a complete view of WhatsApp’s session charges.
And if you’d like to talk more about WhatsApp and/or A2P SMS, please get in touch!