Pricing

Understand the concept of a conversation and pricing mechanisms in WhatsApp Business API

Written By Iqmal (Administrator)

Updated at July 10th, 2024

Conversation-based pricing

WhatsApp charges a fee per conversation, not per individual message. The rate being charged per conversation depends on the category of conversation. This article outlines what a conversation is, the different conversation categories and how they are opened, as well as certain cases where conversations are free of charge. 
 

What is a conversation?

A conversation is a thread of messages sent within a 24-hour window between you and your customer. A conversation is opened and charged when an initial message you send to a customer or a customer sends to you is successfully delivered.


 

The type of message you open a conversation with will determine the category a conversation falls into, which will affect pricing. We will outline the different conversation categories below.
 

Conversation categories

All conversations fall into one of the following categories:

  • Marketing - Enables you to achieve a wide range of goals, from generating awareness to driving sales and retargeting customers. Examples include new product, service, or feature announcements, targeted promotions/offers, and cart abandonment reminders.
  • Utility - Enables you to follow up on user actions or requests. Examples include opt-in confirmations, order/delivery management (e.g., delivery updates), account updates or alerts (e.g., payment reminders), or feedback surveys.
  • Authentication - Enables you to authenticate users with one-time passcodes, potentially at multiple steps in the sign in process (e.g., account verification, account recovery, integrity challenges).
  • Service - Enables you to resolve customer inquiries.

Marketing, Utility, and Authentication conversations can only be opened with template messages, while Service conversations can only be opened with free-form messages. We outline how these message types open their respective conversation categories below. 
 

Opening Marketing, Utility, and Authentication conversations

When you send an approved Marketing, Utility, or Authentication template to a customer, we check if an open conversation matching the template's category already exists between you and the customer. If one exists, no new conversation is opened. If one does not exist, a new conversation of that category is opened, lasting 24 hours.

For example:

  • Hour 0 - You send a targeted promotion (Marketing template) to a customer. No open Marketing conversation exists between you and the customer, so a Marketing conversation lasting 24 hours is opened.
  • Hour 4 - You send another marketing template to the customer. An open Marketing conversation already exists between you and the customer, so a new Marketing conversation is not opened.
  • Hour 6 - The customer purchases a product on your site and you send them an order confirmation (utility template). An open Utility conversation does not exist between you and the customer, so a Utility conversation is opened, lasting 24 hours. This results in two conversations open between you and the customer: a Marketing conversation and a Utility conversation.

Please note that it is possible for multiple conversations to be open between you and a customer. To learn more about how multiple conversations can be open, click here.
 

Opening Services conversations

When you send a free-form message to a customer, which can only be done within 24 hours of a customer messaging you (also known as the customer service window),  we check if an open conversation — of any category — already exists between you and the customer. If one exists, no new conversation is opened. If a conversation does not exist, a new Service conversation is opened, lasting 24 hours.

For example:

  • Hour 0 - You send a targeted promotion (marketing template) to a customer. No open Marketing conversation exists between you and the customer, so a Marketing conversation lasting 24 hours is opened.
  • Hour 4 - The customer messages you. This opens a customer service window between you and the customer, allowing you to send them free-form messages for the next 24 hours.
  • Hour 5 - You send a free-form message to the customer. An open conversation already exists between you and the customer (a Marketing conversation in this case), so a Service conversation is not opened.
  • Hour 24 - The Marketing conversation expires
  • Hour 25 - The 24-hour customer service window is still open, so you send a second free-form message to the customer. No open conversation exists between you and the customer anymore, so a Service conversation is opened, lasting 24 hours.
  • Hour 26 - The 24-hour customer service window is still open, so you send a third free-form message to the customer. An open Service conversation already exists between you and the customer, so a new Service conversation is not opened.

Please note that it is possible for multiple conversations to be open between you and a customer. We outline  how multiple conversations can be open in the section below.
 

Multiple conversations

It is possible to have multiple open conversations between you and a customer. This can happen in the following situations:

  • An open Marketing, Utility, or Authentication conversation exists between you and a customer and you send them a template message of a different category within 24 hours, e.g. if the existing open conversation is a Utility conversation, then you send a targeted promotion (marketing template) during the conversation, a Marketing conversation will be opened
  • An open Service conversation exists between you and a customer and you send them a template message within 24 hours. In this scenario, depending on the template you used (i.e. marketing, utility, or authentication template), a respective conversation will be opened alongside a Service conversation.
     

Conversation duration

Marketing, Utility, Authentication, and Service conversations last 24 hours unless closed by a newly opened Free-entry point conversation.

Free-entry point conversations last 72 hours, and we outline which conversations are included in the free tier and how free-entry point conversations work in the following sections.
 

Free tier conversations

Each WhatsApp Business API Account (WABA) gets 1,000 free Service conversations each month across all of its business phone numbers. This number is refreshed at the beginning of each month, based on the WhatsApp Business API Account's time zone. When a WABA has passed the 1,000 free Service conversations limit (i.e. starting from 1,001 service conversation), the Service conversation will be charged based on the normal conversation rate.

Marketing, Utility, and Authentication conversations are not part of the free tier.
 

Free-entry point conversations

Free-entry point conversations are free conversations opened when your customers perform specific actions to initiate a conversation with you.

A free-entry point conversation is opened if:

  • a customer using a device running Android or iOS messages you via a Click-to-WhatsApp Ad (CTWA)  or Facebook Page Call-to-Action (CTA) button and
  • you respond within 24 hours. If you do not respond within 24 hours, a free-entry point conversation is not opened and you must use a template to message the customer, which opens a Marketing, Utility, or Authentication conversation, per the category of the template.

The free-entry point conversation is opened as soon as your message is delivered and lasts 72 hours.

When a free-entry point conversation is opened, it automatically closes all other open conversations between you and the customer, and no new conversations will be opened until the free-entry point conversation expires.

Once the free-entry point conversation is opened, you can send any type of message to the customer without incurring additional charges. However, you can only send free-form messages if there is an open customer service window between you and the customer.

For example, if the customer messages you via a CTWA at 10am and you respond via a template message at 10pm the same day:

  • The free-entry point conversation starts at 10pm and lasts 72 hours
  • You can send template messages at no charge in those 72 hours
  • You can send free-form messages until 10am the next day, at which point the customer service window closes, as it is independent of the free-entry point conversation (if the customer messages you again, however, it opens another 24-hour customer service window in which you can send free-form messages).
     

Conversation rates

Conversation rates are based on conversation category and country/region. Please see the “Rates based on conversation category” table below to find the rate that corresponds to your WhatsApp Business API Account's currency for each conversation category.

These rates apply for any conversation opened on or after June 1, 2023 at 12:00am, based on your WhatsApp Business API Account’s time zone.

Actual charges may vary across different regions due to exchange rates and payment gateway fees.

You can plan your budgets, track spending, and manage account billing in SleekFlow.

 

 

Rates based on conversation category

Country/Region Marketing Utility Authentication Service
Argentina 0.072 0.041 0.037 0.035
Brazil 0.103 0.068 0.061 0.053
Chile 0.015 0.01 0.009 0.007
Egypt 0.124 0.08 0.072 0.075
France 0.165 0.089 0.08 0.099
Germany 0.157 0.099 0.089 0.095
India 0.012 0.005 0.005 0.005
Indonesia 0.048 0.023 0.035 0.022
Israel 0.041 0.022 0.02 0.021
Italy 0.08 0.049 0.044 0.045
Malaysia 0.099 0.023 0.021 0.026
Mexico 0.051 0.031 0.028 0.013
Netherlands 0.184 0.092 0.083 0.103
Nigeria 0.06 0.037 0.034 0.036
Pakistan 0.055 0.03 0.027 0.017
Peru 0.081 0.049 0.044 0.021
Russia 0.093 0.055 0.05 0.046
Saudi Arabia 0.047 0.029 0.026 0.023
South Africa 0.044 0.023 0.021 0.02
Spain 0.071 0.044 0.04 0.043
Turkey 0.013 0.011 0.01 0.004
United Arab Emirates 0.04 0.023 0.021 0.022
United Kingdom 0.082 0.046 0.042 0.045
North America 0.029 0.018 0.016 0.011
Rest of Africa 0.026 0.019 0.017 0.042
Rest of Asia Pacific 0.085 0.055 0.049 0.026
Rest of Central and Eastern Europe 0.099 0.072 0.065 0.029
Rest of Latin America 0.086 0.057 0.052 0.049
Rest of Middle East 0.04 0.023 0.021 0.026
Rest of Western Europe 0.069 0.049 0.044 0.046
Other 0.07 0.039 0.035 0.017


Region rate mapping

Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Afghanistan
  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
 
 

North America

  • Canada
  • United States
 
 

Rest of Africa

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
 
 

Rest of Central and Eastern Europe

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Moldova
  • North Macedonia
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Ukraine
 
 

Rest of Western Europe

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
 
 

Rest of Latin America

  • Bolivia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Puerto Rico
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
 
 

Rest of Middle East

  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Yemen
 
 

Other

All other countries