WhatsApp Business API Conversation Cost Explained (A 2023 Guide)

Are you still confused about WhatsApp's conversation-based pricing model, even though it's been in effect since 2022? Don't worry, you're not alone! Many people are still struggling to understand how WhatsApp charges for each conversation in WhatsApp Business API and the logic behind it.

In this exclusive blog post, we aim to clear up the confusion and bring more clarity to this highly debated topic. We'll explain everything you need to know about the conversation-based pricing model in WABA, from what constitutes a conversation to how you'll be charged, and what this means for your business's budget.

Even though this update has been around for a while, we understand that many people still need better clarity on it. That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you make sense of WhatsApp Business API's pricing model and how it affects your business. So, let's dive in and get to the bottom of this important topic once and for all!

Key Facts:

  • WhatsApp has changed its pricing structure from template-based pricing to conversation-based pricing.
  • This change went into effect on February 1, 2022.
  • The new pricing model was first tested in Mexico for over a year before being implemented worldwide.
  • Under template-based pricing, businesses paid a fee for each message they sent or received. However, under conversation-based pricing, businesses pay for each conversation they have with a customer, regardless of the number of messages exchanged within that conversation.
  • WhatsApp has updated this conversation-based pricing model again on June 2023.
  • Under the new pricing update the conversation window is categorized into four groups. Business-Initiated Conversations (1. Utility Conversations 2. Authentication Conversations 3. Marketing Conversations) and User-Initiated Conversations (1. Service Conversations)

Under the previous pricing model, WhatsApp used to charge businesses a certain fee for each template message depending on the user's country code.

But effective 1st February 2022, WhatsApp made significant changes. WhatsApp changed the Business API price from a notification-based pricing model to a conversation-based pricing model, thus they no longer charge your company based on messages, templates, or sessions. Businesses are now charged on a per-conversation basis. 

Under the conversation-based pricing model, businesses are now able to communicate with their customers without any limits on the number of messages exchanged within a 24-hour session. This means that businesses can engage in extensive conversations with their customers during this time frame without incurring any additional fees. But not all conversations are treated the same. WhatsApp has broken these conversations into two windows and four groups.

Let's talk about them in detail!

What are WhatsApp Conversation, Pricing, and Its Types?

A conversation in WhatsApp Business API is defined as a message thread either initiated by a customer or business, which receives a response from either party within a 24-hour window. 

Businesses and customers can exchange an unlimited number of messages, including template messages, within a 24-hour conversation session window without incurring any additional charges.

After the 24-hour window has passed, businesses can still respond to the customer, but they will be charged as per the country rate to send messages which will reopen the conversation window. The cost of a conversation varies by country and type.

All the incoming messages from the customers are FREE and only chargeable if the business responds to the message.

Here's what needs to happen for a message to become a conversation:

- A conversation can either be initiated by the business or the customer.

  • The business starts the conversation by sending a pre-approved template message and the customer responds to it. This will start a Business-initiated Conversation. (explained in the below section)
  • The customer starts the conversation by sending a message and the business responds to it. This will start a User-initiated Conversation. (explained in the below section)

Under conversation-based pricing, businesses only pay for each conversation they have with customers and can exchange any number of messages, including template messages, within a 24-hour conversation session window without incurring additional charges. 

The messaging charges for each Business-initiated Conversation (BIC) and User-initiated Conversation (UIC) are different depending on the country code of the users. 

Check out the latest country-wise Conversation pricing sheet.


For every WABA account, the first 1,000 conversations/month are free for user-initiated conversations only

But what are Business-initiated Conversation (BIC) and User-initiated Conversation (UIC)?

Business-initiated Conversation (BIC)

If a business sends the first message, the conversation is initiated immediately and is valid for 24 hours from the message sent time. The conversation must be initiated with a pre-approved message template. 

Check out these 50+ Best WhatsApp Promotional Message Templates That Work Like a Charm
Business-initiated Conversation (BIC)

The Business-initiated Conversation (BIC) is further categorised into 3 groups:

  1. Utility Conversations
  2. Authentication Conversations
  3. Marketing Conversations

1. Utility Conversations: These conversations help facilitate a specific, agreed-upon request or transaction. For example, updates to customers about an ongoing transaction, post-purchase notifications, or recurring billing statements fall under this category.

Cost of Utility Conversations in India

Pay a one-time messaging cost of INR 34 paisa [$ 0.0042 / 0.0033 Sterling Pound / 0.00385 Euro] if a business sends the first message. The conversation is initiated immediately and is valid for 24 hours from the message sent time.

2. Authentication Conversations: This category enables businesses to authenticate users with one-time passcodes, potentially at multiple steps in the login process. Activities such as account verification, account recovery, and integrity challenges would fall under authentication conversations.

Cost of Authentication Conversations in India

Pay a one-time messaging cost of INR 34 paisa [$ 0.0042 / 0.0033 Sterling Pound / 0.00385 Euro] if a business sends the first message. The conversation is initiated immediately and is valid for 24 hours from the message sent time.

3. Marketing Conversations: As the name suggests, this category includes promotions or offers, informational updates, or invitations for customers to respond or take action. Essentially, any conversation that doesn't qualify as a utility or authentication conversation is a marketing conversation.

Cost of Marketing Conversations in India

Pay a one-time messaging cost of INR 80 paisa [$ 0.0098 / 0.0077 Sterling Pound / 0.009 Euro] if a business sends the first message. The conversation is initiated immediately and is valid for 24 hours from the message sent time.

User-Initiated Conversation (UIC)

If a user sends a message and the business replies to it, a conversation session is initiated and the session is valid for 24 hours.

User-initiated Conversation (BIC)

The User-initiated Conversation (UIC) is further classified into 1 group i.e. Service Conversations.

1. Service Conversations: This category encompasses all user-initiated conversations which help customers resolve inquiries.

Cost of Service Conversations in India

Pay a one-time messaging cost of INR 32 paisa [$ 0.0040 / 0.0031 Sterling Pound / 0.00363 Euro] if a user sends a message and the business replies to it. A conversation session is initiated and the session is valid for 24 hours.

Understanding these categories is crucial as Meta's new pricing policy will levy different charges based on the nature of these conversations.

Understanding Conversation-Based Pricing

Simply put, conversation-based pricing is a pricing model where businesses are charged based on the number and type of conversations they have with their customers. Instead of a blanket fee for all kinds of interactions, businesses pay different rates based on the nature of the conversation.

As of June 1, 2023, Meta has embraced this pricing model for its WhatsApp Business API, instituting changes that will drastically transform the way businesses manage their customer communications.

Want to know about WhatsApp Business API conversation cost in detail? CLICK HERE to access the one-stop guide.

WhatsApp Business Platform Pricing Changes 2023

Current Pricing
Pricing Changes in 2023
User-initiated, Business-initiated
Utility, Authentication, Marketing, Service
Per conversation
**Starting March 1, user-initiated messages through free entry-point conversations will have an extended free conversation window from 24h to 72h.
Free tier
For every WABA account, the first 1,000 conversations/month are free for both conversations categories
For every WABA account, the first 1,000 conversations/month are free for user-initiated conversations only
Free entry point
User-initiated conversations are not charged when users message businesses using Facebook Page call-to-action buttons and Ads that Click to WhatsApp
User-initiated conversations are not charged when users message businesses using Facebook Page call-to-action buttons and Ads that Click to WhatsApp.

When a free entry point conversation is open, no other conversation category can be opened.

WhatsApp Pricing Updates: A Closer Look

Meta's pricing changes are far-reaching and will influence various aspects of your WhatsApp Business API operations. Here are the most critical updates:

  1. Conversation Window Extension: As of March 1, 2023, the free conversation window has been extended from 24 hours to 72 hours for all conversations that are initiated from ads that click to WhatsApp or Facebook Page Call to Action (CTA). These CTWAs will have a 3-day conversation window.
  2. Free Conversations from Specific Entry Points: Conversations initiated by users via click to WhatsApp ads or Facebook Page call-to-action buttons won't result in charges for businesses. This update can be leveraged by businesses to promote enhanced customer interaction via WhatsApp at no additional cost.
  3. Free Messaging During Extended Window: With the messaging window now extended from 24 hours to 72 hours, all messages sent within this period, including WhatsApp Template Messages, are free. It's noteworthy, however, that while the conversation initiated from a WhatsApp ad is free, the cost of the ad itself isn't covered.
  4. New Conversation Categories: From April 1, 2023, businesses have been required to select one of the four new conversation categories while creating a message template.
  5. New Rate Cards: As of June 1, 2023, Meta has implemented new rate cards for utility, authentication, and marketing conversations. 
  6. Changes to Free Tier Conversations: From June 1, 2023, business-initiated conversations are no longer included in the free tier. Each WhatsApp Business API account now gets only 1,000 free service (user-initiated) conversations per month.
The country-wise updated conversation charges can be found here


  • Businesses can't initiate regular conversations with customers. They can only send approved message templates to initiate a conversation and wait for the customer's reply. This is to counter spam.
  • Users have the privilege to initiate a conversation whenever they want
  • UICs are only chargeable when a Business responds to a user's message within 24 hours. In other words, if a Business fails to respond within that time frame, it will not be charged for the conversation.
  • Business-initiated conversations (BICs) are immediately chargeable from the moment a Business sends a pre-approved template message to users outside the 24-hour session window or initiates messaging with the user. This means that any messaging initiated by the Business outside of the 24-hour window incurs charges, regardless of whether or not the user responds.
  • The messaging costs vary from country to country

Know in-depth about Meta's WhatsApp Business API Conversation-Based Pricing Changes: June 2023 Update HERE

So, What's the Secret to Save More Money with WABA Conversation-Based Pricing

Here are a few hacks to get more value from WhatsApp’s conversation-based pricing model.

Set up a WhatsApp ChatBot

Your agents can't be online all the time! But if your customers send follow-up messages towards the end of your 24-hour conversation window and your agents aren't available, you'd simply start (and be charged for) a new conversation when your agents get around to replying after those 24 hours.

However, if you had a chatbot, you could respond right away, answering about 80% of your clients' questions devoid of human participation and saving you the additional cost of initiating a new conversation.

Efficiently Engage Customers with a Reminder Before the 24hr BIC Window Ends

Maximize the potential of the 24-hour Business Initiated Conversation (BIC) window by sending a timely reminder message to your customers. This strategic approach ensures better customer engagement while optimizing cost.

Consider this scenario: 

You send a message template to your customers at 10:00 AM on Monday. The free BIC window remains open until 10:00 AM on Tuesday, during which time you await customer replies. However, if a customer doesn't respond, it's a good idea to send another message template around 9:00 AM on Tuesday. By doing so, you'll gently remind your customers to engage, increasing the likelihood of a response.

If they reply after the BIC window has expired, you'll only be charged for the User-Initiated Conversation (UIC), as the customer initiated the conversation. This way, you'll save on costs by having only one BIC and one UIC charge, while extending the communication window.

Why DoubleTick?

If you're looking for the best MarCom tool that can send unlimited messages to your customers on WhatsApp without getting blocked then DoubleTick is the best business solution for you. Here are a few of the top reasons to sign up with DoubleTick WhatsApp Business API.  

  1. Bulk broadcast your messages and catalogue to unlimited saved and unsaved contacts.
  2. Automate WhatsApp marketing by scheduling your broadcast messages.
  3. Detailed broadcast analytics report to track your WhatsApp marketing campaign metrics in real-time.
  4. Single WhatsApp number for your entire company with a cloud-based team inbox and role-based access.
  5. End-to-end automated catalogue sharing and order booking via AI-Powered Commerce BOT.
  6. WhatsApp Automation via AI-powered active chatbot that can answer customers’ queries, send automated anniversaries & birthday wishes, abandoned cart notifications, pending balance reminders, bills and all kinds of alerts to customers.
  7. Choose your favourite tools such as WooCommerce, Zapier, Google Sheets, Pabbly etc. and integrate them with DoubleTick in just a few clicks.
  8. Super intuitive, easy to use and mobile-friendly.
  9. 24/7 Customer support is available via call, WhatsApp or email.

DoubleTick offers a full-fledged WhatsApp Marketing solution built on the official WhatsApp Business API platform. 

Read more about DoubleTick here - What is DoubleTick and How This Could Be Your Greatest WhatsApp Marketing and Sales Tool 

How to Get DoubleTick?

Kindly email us at grow@quicksell.co or Click Below to get a FREE DEMO to know about our product offering, features and pricing plans.

How to get DoubleTick WhatsApp Business API?

Now transform WhatsApp into the ultimate sales engine to delight customers and drive revenue with DoubleTick!

Requisites to Apply for DoubleTick WhatsApp Business API

You need:

  • A Facebook Business Manager account
  • A verified business
  • A WhatsApp business account
  • A fresh phone number
  • A Line of Credit for your WhatsApp business account
  • A command line tool such as Terminal or an app like Postman that can perform URL requests (Not needed if applied via DoubleTick)

We'd also need at least two documents from the below list to verify the business:

  • Business bank statement
  • Business License
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Goods and services tax registration certificate (GST)
  • Permanent account number card (PAN)
  • Shop establishment certificate
  • Udyog Aadhar / MSME Certificate
  • Utility bill

We can't onboard you if the above documents are not available.


  • You'll have to get a new phone number for your WhatsApp Business API account as you can't use this further for your personal use.
  • You can also use your existing phone number for your WhatsApp Business API account but all your data will be erased and you'll not be able to use it for your personal use any further.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Does Conversational based pricing remove the restriction of approving WhatsApp Template Messages?

Answer: No! Businesses would still need to approve all their WhatsApp Template messages from WhatsApp.

Question: How to integrate WhatsApp Business API?

Answer: Integrating WhatsApp Business API into your business involves the following steps:

  1. Choose a WhatsApp Business API provider such as DoubleTick
  2. Set up a Business Profile such as your business name, address, phone number and website
  3. Get Approval from WhatsApp
  4. Connect to the API
  5. Implement Automation
  6. Start Sending Messages


The exact integration process may vary depending on the service provider you choose, so be sure to follow their specific instructions.

Question: Does DoubleTick offer a free trial?

Answer: Yes, we do offer a demo account that you can play with. Download the DoubleTick App to test with a demo account.

Question: What’s DoubleTick’s pricing plan? 

Answer: Kindly email us at grow@quicksell.co or Click here to BOOK a FREE DEMO with us to learn about DoubleTick’s features and pricing plans.

Question: How many team members can I add to my DoubleTick account?

Answer: You can add unlimited team members to DoubleTick.

Question: How to get WhatsApp Business API for free?

Answer: The WhatsApp Business API is a paid service and not free. However, DoubleTick offers a robust demo account to test and experience the WhatsApp Business API platform before you make a final decision. Kindly email us at grow@quicksell.co or Click HERE to BOOK a FREE DEMO.

Question: In how many days will the DoubleTick setup be ready for my WhatsApp Business account?

Answer: If your Meta Business Manager is verified, you can get started with DoubleTick within 5 minutes. If however, you need help with Meta Business Manager verification then the process will take around 3 days to a week depending on how ready you are with your documents as well as the response time from Meta.

Question: Can I use my existing number for DoubleTick?

Answer: Yes, you can use your existing number with DoubleTick. However, we would recommend that you use a new number instead of using an existing one to ensure smooth operations for your business.

Question: Can I use my WhatsApp business app number and DoubleTick number at the same time?

Answer: No, at a time you can use only one account. Data from your WhatsApp business account will be erased once you switch to DoubleTick. 

Question: To how many customers can I shoot the broadcast messages?

Answer: There is no restriction. You can create unlimited broadcast groups and shoot messages to unlimited contacts. However, Meta might restrict you if a lot of customers mark your message as spam. The best practice is to enable the STOP bot on DoubleTick and send your templates with a STOP quick reply message so that people who are not interested in your communication can easily press STOP to get opted out instead of reporting your number as SPAM to WhatsApp.

Question: Can I automate and schedule broadcast messages?

Answer: You can automate WhatsApp messages and schedule broadcasts with DoubleTick.

Read this exclusive guide to know more about - How to Schedule WhatsApp Messages

Question: Does DoubleTick come with a bulk contact upload feature?

Answer: Yes, you can simply upload an Excel file having contact details to the dashboard and shoot messages in bulk to unlimited customers. 


Question: How many devices does DoubleTick support?

Answer: An unlimited number of devices can be used with DoubleTick. However, access to the number of accounts will be based on your subscription.

Question: Does DoubleTick offer international service?

Answer: Yes, DoubleTick offers services across the globe.