WhatsApp is a powerful tool to engage with customers instantly and provide effective customer support. Until recently, there were limitations in the WhatsApp Business API that prevented businesses from switching between business service providers (BSPs).
However, WhatsApp has addressed the needs of its users by implementing a change in the API that allows WhatsApp Business Accounts (WABA) to switch between service providers without having to use another number.
Migrating phone number from one WABA to another means a business can keep the same phone number and switch to a new BSP. Migrating between WhatsApp Business Accounts (WABAs) allows you to retain:
The process involves minimal data transfer, keeping the downtime to a minimum and is barely noticeable in practice.
Keep in mind that only Business Solution Providers (BSPs) and businesses that use their own implementation of the API can initiate the migration process.
Here are a few important things to go through before we started:
The migration process is fairly simple and we’ll walk you through it in 10 steps that you can use as a guide. Try running the migration process on a test account before you try to do it on a production account.
The old authentication token will no longer work with the new client, so generate a new one by logging in to the new setup.
If you have your two-factor authentication code handy, you can skip this step. However, if you no longer have access to the code and want to re-register, disable two factor authentication. If the backup and restore process fails, you will need to re-register.
Disable your old Webhooks in Application Settings, if you plan to change the Webhook server post-migration.
You can retain your existing settings by backing them up on your current WhatsApp Business API client.
Ensure that your new client is ready to be up and running to keep the downtime to a minimum. Do not delete the database and uninstall the WhatsApp Business API client including Docker containers of the Coreapp, Webapp and Master.
Log in and restore data on the new setup. Your WhatsApp Business API should be ready to go if you’ve successfully restored all necessary settings properly.
Run a health check and send a text message to ensure proper messaging functionality,
You can choose to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account to protect it better.
Set up your Webhook server for inbound notifications.
You can choose to drop the old database containing settings, authentication tokens and messages if you don’t wish to recover this data anytime in the future. Allow the new WhatsApp Business API client to run for 14 days and ensure that it’s running smoothly before deciding on whether you want to delete the database.
Suggested Reading: WhatsApp Onboards Verloop.io as Official Business Service Provider
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about WhatsApp Business Accounts and number porting:
Fortunately, there is no downtime when switching between service providers. Users can seamlessly continue sending and receiving messages until the migration process is complete. At this point, you can start using your new WABA to send and receive messages to your customer. This allows your business to continue its customer support operations without facing any disruptions.
Yes, but not all of them. You can only migrate high-quality templates to the new business account. However, you can not migrate low-quality templates, rejected templates, or ones that have a pending review.
Only messages sent after the migration process is completed would be charged at the new WABA. Messages sent from the old WABA before the migration are charged to the source business account when they’re delivered.
It’s important to note that the migration process is possible only if the destination WABA is verified and has a payment method set up. Make sure to take a backup of all your chats as this information is not transferred while migrating.
No, you will need to migrate each API individually.
Insights for messages are available in the Business Managers of the respective WABAs they were sent from. For instance, a message sent from the number before migration will be available on the source’s Business Manager and messages sent after migration are available in the destination’s Business Manager.
No, we recommend backing up your chat history before you migrate. Chat history is not migrated to the new account.
Those businesses using the phone number on the WhatsApp Business App need to delete the number from it before they can use it on the API. In such cases, migration is unnecessary and you can directly port the number to the API.
No, you must complete the verification and review processes prior for the numbers registered through Embedded Sign Up flow.
The source WABA marks the number “Transferred” after the migration. Certificates for such numbers will no longer be available. You can delete the numbers from the Business Manager.
No, seeking permission from the source business is not necessary.
Here are some common errors that you might run into while going through the migration process:
The inability to migrate between WABAs was a concern for many businesses that felt restricted to a single BSP. The new addition to WhatsApp’s rules is a welcome addition that makes the platform more flexible and user-friendly for businesses across the board.
While the migration process is fairly simple from the get-go it can still be a little confusing. We hope this blog broke it down even further to make the migration process a breeze by answering all your frequently asked questions.