How To Comply With The WhatsApp Commerce Policy

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WhatsApp Business is an incredibly powerful tool to revolutionise your company’s communications strategy. But if you don’t follow the platform’s Commerce Policy, you run the risk of account suspensions, loss of revenue, and damage to your company’s valuable reputation.

Let’s take a look at the finer points of WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy, who it applies to and what happens if a business violates the policy. We’ll also share some best practice guidelines to make sure your business can operate successfully using WhatsApp Business.

What is the WhatsApp Commerce Policy?

The WhatsApp Commerce Policy sets out the rules that businesses must comply with when using WhatsApp for sales purposes. The regulations specify:

  • Which products and services can be sold on WhatsApp
  • Which payment methods businesses can use to collect payment from their customers on WhatsApp
  • How businesses should communicate with their customers on WhatsApp
  • How businesses can use their customer’s data on WhatsApp

It’s vital that businesses understand WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy so that they can avoid the risk of a suspension.

Does the WhatsApp Commerce Policy apply to me?

Yes. By using WhatsApp Business, you are automatically agreeing to both the WhatsApp Business Messaging Policy and the WhatsApp Business Terms of Service.

What does the WhatsApp Commerce Policy apply to on WhatsApp Business?

There are several areas to pay particular attention to ensure you comply with the WhatsApp Commerce Policy.

Your WhatsApp Business profile

Make sure your Business profile is regularly updated with accurate information. You need to include customer support contact information, along with an email address, website address or telephone number (ideally all three).

Make sure that customers can clearly identify your business identity and the nature of your business. Impersonating another business is prohibited.

Your contacts

It’s very important that your contacts have opted in to receive communications from you. This means that they:

  • Have provided their phone number specifically to your business
  • Have provided opt-in permission confirming that they want your business to contact them (this needs to be clear, unequivocal and state the business’ name in writing)

If a contact subsequently opts out of communications (whether this request is made on WhatsApp or elsewhere), you must stop communicating with them and take them off your contacts list.

Misleading messages, deliberate deception and spam are also not allowed under any circumstances.

Data protection

As a business, you must comply with all applicable data laws in your area. This may include permissions and consent to collect, use and retain contact information. You must not ask people to share sensitive information that can be used to identify them, or forward any information to other contacts without the original contact’s permission.

Restricted business activities

Certain types of businesses are prohibited from using WhatsApp Business. Among other activities, these include businesses involved in:

  • Weapons and firearms
  • Alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Live animals
  • Hazardous goods
  • Gambling
  • Adult products and services
  • Multi-level marketing
  • Any criminal activity

Find the full list of prohibited activities on WhatsApp’s Business Messaging Policy.

What happens if a business violates WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy?

There are a number of potential consequences for noncompliance with WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy. These could include:

Account suspensions or bans

If you don’t comply with the Commerce Policy, WhatsApp may choose to suspend or ban your account. Even a temporary suspension can have huge consequences for your business if you rely heavily on WhatsApp for communication and sales. If your account is banned, you won’t be able to use the platform for your business activities in the future.

WhatsApp has set out the Commerce Policy in order to keep users on WhatsApp safe and secure. If you are found to be violating the Commerce Policy, you open your business up to potentially costly legal action, such as fines or lawsuits.

Damage to your business reputation

Your company’s reputation is key to business success – and using WhatsApp responsibly can be a huge help in cementing a positive reputation with your customers. However, if you are found to be violating WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy, this could damage your company’s good image.

How to comply with WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy

Make sure that you read both the WhatsApp Business Messaging Policy and the WhatsApp Business Terms of Service. If you aren’t clear on what you need to do to comply with WhatsApp’s conditions or local laws, seek advice.

Optimise your customers’ opt-in experience

Your contacts should never be surprised by messages from your business. Make sure that they expect your communications by:

  • Stating the different types of messages you’ll be sending (such as offers and promotions, new product launches, service availability, and others)
  • Asking for opt-in permission for each of these categories separately
  • Giving clear instructions for how to opt out of your messages
  • Quickly actioning any requests from your contacts to opt out
  • Providing customer service contact information in the event of complaints or queries

Keep your Business profile up-to-date

Your Business profile is the first place that customers will look to identify who you are and what you do. Make sure that it’s relevant by:

  • Clearly stating your business name and the nature of your business
  • Including as much information as possible, such as customer support contact information, email address, website address and telephone number
  • Double checking that your information is accurate
  • Regularly reviewing it to keep it up-to-date
  • Ensuring that your Business profile is unique and can’t be seen as impersonating another brand or business

How can I get started on WhatsApp Business?

At YourBusinessNumber, we make it quick and easy to harness the incredible power of WhatsApp Business.

If you already use WhatsApp Messenger to contact family and friends, you’ll need a second virtual phone number to verify your new business account and run both apps on the same phone.

Think that sounds tricky to set up? Think again. We generate your brand new unique number in just a few clicks and send it to you via SMS. You can then use this number to set up your business account.

If you need help at any point in the process, our comprehensive customer support will help you get back on track. Plus, with cost-effective, stress-free and flexible plans, you’re in complete control.

So, what are you waiting for? Generate your new business number today.

Author:

Picture of George Lineker

George Lineker

The co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, George has a lasting interest in modern communications technology, and is an advocate of simple and easy to use tools for businesses of all sizes. He has a background in mobile telecom solutions along with qualifications in business and management support services.
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