Picky Assist Official Blog

WhatsApp Conversation Based Pricing Explained

Starting February 1st, 2022, WhatsApp is switched from a notification-based pricing model to a conversation-based pricing model. Instead of being charged for notifications sent, businesses will be charged per conversation, which includes all messages delivered within a 24-hour period. See How It Works below for more information.

WhatsApp Templates (Business Initiated)

Templates are pre-approved messages from WhatsApp which used to send outbound messages like OTP, Shipping Alert, Transaction Alert, Appointment Alerts, Full Funnel Promotion Messages etc. Read More About Templates

All outbound template messages are charged once in every 24 hours as per the destination country. View WhatsApp Country Wise Template Charges

WhatsApp Session (24 Hours Customer Care Window)

A session will start when the user initiates a message (you receive a message) and the session lasts for 24 hours from the last messages received from the particular user, which means the session time will get resets whenever a new message receives from a user.

When a user session is active you can send any type of messages including marketing, promotional, media, contact, location etc.

WhatsApp Conversation Based Billing Components

WhatsApp Business API conversations fall into two categories that are priced differently:

User-initiated, like customer care and general support inquiries.

Business-initiated, like post purchase notifications. promotions, offers etc

All conversations are measured in 24-hour increments, or “sessions”, that start whenever the first message from a business is delivered. The first message can be initiated by the business (business-initiated) or a business reply within 24 hours of a user message (user-initiated). A user is defined as the person or entity with whom the business is messaging.

Charges for conversations are based on the user’s phone number. Rates for business-initiated conversations and user-initiated conversations vary by market (country or region). See Rates for specific pricing information.

Free Tier Conversations

The first 1,000 conversations each month will be free, so your business can start to build experiences your customers will love before having to pay. Each WABA gets 1,000 free tier conversations. Free tier conversations can be business-initiated or user-initiated and can be used to send or receive messages across the world

Free Entry Points Conversations

Conversations will not be charged when users message businesses using call-to-actions buttons on Ads that click to WhatsApp or a Facebook Page CTA. Free entry point conversations can only be user-initiated. Only the first conversation that starts from the entry point is free of charge. Subsequent conversations with the user are charged.

Standard pricing will apply for Ads that Click to WhatsApp. The conversation that initiates from the ad is free, but not the ad itself.

So, how are conversations charged in user-initiated versus business-initiated scenarios?

To get a better understanding of how WhatsApp charges for these conversations, let’s take a look at some real world examples of both user initiated and business-initiated conversations.

Example conversational flows and related charges

For the examples that follow, we’ll use a hypothetical user, Anne Bodelac, a customer of Commercial Air, a hypothetical airline, and Uptown Cosmetics, a fictional online beauty retailer. Anne prefers to use WhatsApp to message businesses because it’s the fastest way to get the support and information she needs. Commercial Air and Uptown Cosmetics know many of their customers prefer to connect via WhatsApp, so they’re ready to respond to inquiries or send important updates via messaging.

User-initiated conversations

Scenario 1: Customer care or general support inquiries in a single 24-hour conversation session

  1. Our user, Anne Bodelac, messages Commercial Air with a question about an upcoming reservation. When Commercial Air’s reply message is delivered, it starts a user-initiated conversation.
  2. There is no charge for individual messages within a 24-hour conversation, and no limit on the number of messages that can be exchanged in a single conversation. This encourages Commercial Air to follow-up with support inquiries in a timely manner, while providing users the ability to exchange as many messages as needed to resolve concerns within the 24-hour session.
  3. If Commercial Air continues to exchange messages with Anne after the initial 24-hour conversation session has ended, they’ll incur costs related to a new conversation. They’ll also be required to send a message template to start a new conversation if it’s been more than 24 hours since Anne’s last message, which will be charged as a business-initiated conversation.

In this scenario, Anne gets the info she needs about her reservation and Commercial Air pays for one user- initiated conversation.

Scenario 2: Customer care or general support inquiries that require multiple 24-hour conversation sessions

  1. Anne has a delivery that was supposed to arrive today. She doesn’t receive it and checks in with the company she purchased from, Uptown Cosmetics. When Uptown Cosmetics’ reply message is delivered, it starts a user-initiated conversation.
  1. When the original 24-hour conversation session expires, Anne’s inquiry has not yet been resolved. After the initial conversation session expires, Uptown Cosmetics can continue a second conversation with Anne at the user-initiated rate as long as it has not been 24 hours since Anne’s last message.

In this scenario, Uptown Cosmetics pays for two user- initiated conversations.

Scenario 3: User-initiated conversation leads to two conversations with a message template required

  1. Anne wants to check on an order she placed with Uptown Cosmetics.
  2. Uptown Cosmetics has a bot set up to reply to basic order inquiries, and responds to Anne with delivery details. This begins a user-initiated conversation.
  3. As a follow up the next day, more than 24 hours since Anne’s last message, Uptown Cosmetics sends a message template to let Anne know that her order has been delivered. This begins a business-initiated conversation.

When the Uptown Cosmetics bot replies to Anne more than 24 hours after Anne’s last message, it results in a new, business-initiated conversation charge. Uptown Cosmetics also needs to use a message template as is standard when it’s been more than 24 hours since the last user message.

In this scenario, Uptown Cosmetics pays for one user- initiated and one business-initiated conversation.

Business-initiated conversations

Scenario 4: Business initiates the delivery of a message template

  1. When a flight is delayed or its status changes, Commercial Air alerts customers who have opted in to receive notifications using a message template. This starts a business-initiated conversation.
  2. Commercial Air can send as many messages as needed during this single 24-hour conversation session and it will result in only one business-initiated conversation charge.
  3. After that 24-hour conversation session expires, Commercial Air will incur another business-initiated conversation charge if they want to send Anne another update.

In this scenario, Commercial Air wants to let Anne know that her flight is delayed by 30 minutes.

Commercial Air will be charged for one business-initiated conversation for the delivery of these two message templates as they were both delivered to Anne within one 24-hour conversation session.

Scenario 5: Business-initiated with user reply leading to single conversation

  1. When a customer places a new order from Uptown Cosmetics, the online retailer sends a text message to confirm the order has been received, and asks the customer if they’d like to receive notification when it ships. When this message is delivered, it begins a business-initiated conversation.
  2. The customer selects Yes and opts into receiving additional order notifications.

In this scenario, Uptown Cosmetics pays for a single business-initiated conversation. If the user replies more than 24 hours after the initial business message delivery and that is followed by a business reply, that will result in a new, user-initiated conversation.

How Picky Assist Will Bill You from February 2022

The above mentioned details are the charges which WhatsApp charges or in other word Picky Assist have to give to WhatsApp as per your conversations still the Picky Assist continues to host the Docker (WhatsApp Server) and manage the service for you in a highly scalable environment.

To minimise possible impact for business we have added free credits for all plans and no more markup for the WhatsApp Conversation Charges

The New Billing Plans w.e.f Feb, 1st 2022 

DetailsSmallMedium LargeUnlimited
Monthly Rent$99$199$299$399
Yearly Rent$999$1999$2999$3999
Free Conversations (monthly)1000100010001000
Free Credits (monthly)$10$50$100$150
Free Interactions (monthly)75,000200,000300,000Unlimited
Charges After Free Interactions (per message)$0.0009$0.0007$0.0006Free
TPS (Message Sending & Receiving Speed in Seconds)5101520
User Initiated See Pricing See Pricing See Pricing See Pricing
Business InitiatedSee Pricing See Pricing See Pricing See Pricing

Rent : Monthly or Yearly Fixed Rent for managing the docker and WhatsApp Services (Picky Assist Charges)

Conversation Charges : Charges which are charged for User Initiated & Business Initiated Messages measures in 24 hours (WhatsApp Charges)

Free Credits : Each plan will now comes with free credit limit which can be used for User or Business initiated messages after the free conversations in a month 

Interactions : Interactions means messages which are sent and received by a business during a billing cycle, every plan comes with monthly free interactions and you will be billed only after the free limits are exhausted.

TPS : Through Put Per Second is the speed of sending and receiving messages which are assigned to each WhatsApp Server as per the plan, TPS includes sending, receiving and delivery reports speeds

Billing Explained with Example 

Let’s assume that Uptown Cosmetics have following conversations in a month and using Medium Plan which costs $199 per month comes with $50 worth free credits

User Initiated : 10000
Business Initiated : 15000 

First 1000 Conversation from any country is free which including User & Business Initiated Sessions, after that will be billed based on the country you are sending or receiving messages, below is an example based on India after the first 1000 free conversation is exhausted; 

User Initiated : 10000 x $ 0.0040 (charges in India) = $40 

Business Initiated : 15000 x $ 0.0066 (charged in India) = $99

Total Billable : $40 (User Initiated) + $99 (Business Initiated) = $139

Free Credit Discount : $50 (vary from plan to plan) = $89

Payable Amount : $89 (Conversation Bill) + $199 (Fixed Monthly Rent) = $288

Impact on Existing WhatsApp Official Numbers

All existing WhatsApp official numbers activated with Picky Assist will automatically enroll into the new conversation based billing from Feb 1st 2022 (no changes in the monthly rent) and customers need to maintain enough balance in their Picky Assist account in order to send or receive messages after the free limits are exhausted.

In order to get maximum free conversation benefits we are also changing the current billing cycle date to calendar month i.e you need to make the fixed monthly rent as per your plan on every 1st of the month. We will adjust the monthly rental on a prorated basis and credit will apply to your Picky Assist account which can be used to pay the monthly rent or can be used for conversation billing. 

We will be sending you soon a unique subscription link through which you can authorise the auto charge for the monthly rental, for the conversation based billing after the free limits you may add money into your Picky Assist Account.

Since we don’t charge any markup for the WhatsApp Conversation based billing we are forced to charge an additional 5% Payment Handling Charges for all “Fill Wallet” transactions from Feb 1st 2021 onwards i.e if you want to fill your Picky Assist Wallet with $100 then you need to pay $5 additional towards the Payment Handling Charges.

How does this impact my existing business use case?

The new conversation based billing impact depends on your business use case, let’s take few scenarios to understand;

Sending High Volume Notifications

If you are sending high volume notifications (template messages) then you will be benefited with the new conversation based billing as there will be no more per message charges, you can send unlimited messages in 24 hours session i.e you can send any number of business initiated (templates) with a one time price valid for 24 hours.

Interactive Messaging, Customer Support, Chatbots 

If your use case is 2 way messaging, customer support, chatbot then it going to cost you more as you need to pay for user initiated messages as well, i.e when your respond to the user initiated messages it incurs cost as per the country of the user i.e if your WhatsApp Official number is a USA number and when someone sends a message from a Brazilian number you have to pay the charges as defined for the Brazil.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is the new conversation based pricing model introduced by Picky Assist?
No, WhatsApp introduced this new pricing model for all customers across the globe, there are no change in the Picky Assist monthly rental however User & Business Initiated prices are changed. 

Do you charge any markup on WhatsApp Conversations Charges?
No we don’t charge any markup on WhatsApp Conversation Charges, after the free limit you will be billed same as WhatsApp Conversation Charges.

Do you charge any additional cost per message like Twillo $0.05?
No, we don’t charge any additional charges apart from the WhatsApp Conversation billing, there will no charges like how Twillo Charge for each messages.

Do you have any Pay As you go plan for WhatsApp Official?
No, at this moment we don’t have any Pay As you go plan for WhatsApp Official, all plans attracts a fixed monthly rent which comes with free credit worth as well.

Are there any changes in monthly or yearly rental?
There are no changes in monthly or yearly rental from Picky Assist side however the new conversation based billing will be applicable for all plans as per defined pricing for each country after the free limits are exhausted. 

Currently I don’t make use of Templates Messages (Business Initiated) How will I be impacted?
WhatsApp moved from template message billing method to Conversations based billing so from Feb 1st 2021 onwards you will be billed for user initiated messages also i.e whenever a user initiate the conversation (sends a message to your WhatsApp number) and the business respond to the message you will be charged for user initiated messages as per the country of the user who initiated the conversation.

If a user initiates a message and the business doesn’t respond, will the business be billed for User Initiated message?
No, user initiated messages will be charged only when the business replies to the message.

When can a business send a free-form message?
A business can send free-form messages within 24 hours of the last user message in a conversation. If it’s been more than 24 hours since the last user message, a business must send a message template. Delivery of a message template opens a new conversation.

With new conversation pricing there will be no charges for each business initiated (template) messages instead only the first message will be charged and all conversation for next 24 hours is free, is this correct?
Yes, with the new conversation based pricing you will be charged only once during 24 hours either for user or business initiated conversations i.e you can send unlimited messages including business initiated

Is the first 1000 free conversations including User & Business Initiated?
Yes, the first 1000 free conversation including both User & Business Initiated conversation send or receive to any countries i.e you don’t billed as per the country charges instead only the count will be considered

How will the 1000 free conversations be counted?
24 hours session will be considered as one conversation and the count will increment in every 24 hours i.e if a User A sends you a message and you reply back instantly it counts as one conversation, after 2 days you initiate a template message then it counts as another conversation. Messages you exchange (send or receive) between a session won’t be counted towards conversations

When will the 24 hours session get started?
24 hours session get started as soon the message sent by you is delivered to the user 

Is the first 1000 free conversations included from any countries?
Yes, the first 1000 free conversations can be User or Business Initiated and can be from any country or regions.

How will the Free Credit Worth work?
Free credit worth will be reduced based on the conversation pricing as defined for each country and you will be charged only after the free credit limit is exhausted.

Is the free credits related to my current balance with Picky Assist?
No free credit doesn’t have an association with your Picky Assist account balance.

Can the unused free credits be carried forward to next month?
No, unused free credits can’t be carried forward to next month or can’t be redeemed as Picky Assist balance.

If you need any further clarifications then please send an email to [email protected]

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