Phone Number

All WhatsApp Business API accounts are based off a valid phone number.

This document covers:

Picking a Phone Number

Your business must use a valid phone number. Short codes are not allowed on the WhatsApp platform. Land lines are acceptable phone numbers to use. The number must include a country and area code. Since a phone number is tied to a WhatsApp account, you must own this number. This phone number does not need to receive calls or SMS except for the registration step below. This phone number must also not have been used with WhatsApp Business API before. To use a phone number already on WhatsApp, please see how to migrate a phone number.

Once you have chosen your business's phone number(s), go to the Phone Numbers section of your WhatsApp Account in the Facebook Business Manager. There you can check if your phone number is valid and create the display name of the phone number.

Once a phone number is registered on the WhatsApp Business API, it cannot be used for the WhatsApp Business App or consumer app. A phone number can be upgraded to the Business API, but not downgraded.

1-800 and Toll Free Numbers

Many businesses want to use the phone number their customers already know such as their 1-800 or other toll free number. These type of numbers are usually behind an IVR, which a WhatsApp registration call cannot navigate. Instead, WhatsApp is able to share with you 1 to 2 phone numbers that the registration phone call will come from. You can use this information to create a whitelist for those numbers so that once the call comes in, you can redirect it to an employee or mailbox where the registration code will be captured.

If creating an exception in your IVR tree is something that you can do, please add the phone number to Business Manager and open a Direct Support ticket asking for the registration call phone numbers. Please state the phone number you are trying to register in the ticket.

Migrating a Phone Number

A phone number already being used with the WhatsApp Business API cannot be migrated. You will have to pick a different phone number.

You can use a phone number that is already registered in the Android, iPhone, or Business Application versions of WhatsApp. However, if you try to add that phone number to your Business Manager, you will see a Phone Number Is Invalid error. You will need to follow the below steps to delete the WhatsApp account associated with that phone number. Any incoming messages during this time will be queued by the WhatsApp servers and delivered upon successful registration.

  1. Open the WhatsApp (or WhatsApp Business) Application on your Android or iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the Settings page.
  3. Select Account.
    Account Settings
  4. Select Delete my account.
    Delete My Account
  5. Follow the steps to delete the WhatsApp account for that phone number.
    Deletion Steps

Once you complete the above steps, go to your Business Manager to add the phone number and complete the registration process.

Registration

To start using the WhatsApp Business API, you will need to register your phone number with a Verified Name by following the registration guide. During the registration process, you will receive a 6-digit registration code to the phone number you want to register. The code will be delivered via:

  • voice call, or
  • SMS

As mentioned in the previous section, the phone number you select must be able to receive SMS or voice calls directly during the registration process. If your phone number is behind an IVR like 1-800 or other toll-free numbers, please refer to the section above. If you have a phone number already registered using a manual code before, it will continue to work normally.