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How to pick a number for WhatsApp Business

Kazi Nazia

Content Editor

When picking a number for your WhatsApp Business API you must make sure that it fulfills all the tick marks and avoids all the crossed ones. While you may change your number later if it doesn't follow the guidelines, it is a very taxing process. So it’s better if you use the right kind of number in the first place. 

Every account using the WhatsApp Business API is based on a working phone number. The ensuing guidelines apply:

  • This number must belong to you and be reachable when your channel is open.
  • Both a country code and an area code must be present in the number.
  • A landline or a voice-only capable number needs to be able to accept international calls.
  • For the channel to be activated, the phone number needs to be able to receive international calls or SMS.
  • Use a clean number. A "clean" number is one that hasn't already been registered with another WhatsApp user. It is feasible to migrate a number if you already use it for the WhatsApp app and want to use it in the API. 

The following types of numbers are acceptable:

  • Landline numbers that can receive calls from abroad
  • Phone numbers
  • Virtual Mobile Numbers (VMN); The call to receive the activation token must be voice-capable.

The following types of numbers are not acceptable:

  • Shortcodes
  • IVR (automated call menu) numbers must have this feature disabled in order to obtain the activation token.
  • Freephone numbers
  • Unable to receive international calls on voice-capable numbers
  • Voice-capable numbers that deviate from the standard international number format by adding extra zeros or digits. The country code, city code, and local phone number come after the plus sign (+) in the entire international format of a phone number.

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