When a business initially onboards Whatsapp business API, they start off with a business account for their phone numbers. 

For a business account, the display name of the phone number is shown in the contact view ( details) of the phone number. In all other views, the phone number would be displayed.

This is how a business account phone number appears to customers on Whatsapp.

What is an official business account (OBA)?

An official business account has the display name along with a green checkmark in the chat list, chat screens, chat groups, and contacts view instead of the phone number. Hence, making it easier for customers to identify and recall the brand/ display name of the business.

Whatsapp only grants an OBA to businesses where it has verified that an authentic and notable brand owns the account.

This is how an official business account phone number appears to customers on Whatsapp.

Types of business accounts on Whatsapp

Business Account

Official Business Account

By default, any account using the WhatsApp Business Platform or WhatsApp Business App is a business account.

WhatsApp verifies the authenticity of a brand for every account on the WhatsApp Business Platform.

An official business account has a green checkmark badge in its profile and chat thread headers. The name of the business is visible even if the user hasn't added the business to their address book. 

Who can apply for an Official Business Account?

Any business with a business account is eligible to request an official business account. However, we have seen a very small percentage of businesses get approval for an OBA. Well-known brands with a wide consumer base are more likely to get OBA request approval.

Eligibility  criteria to apply for an official business account

  • The phone number is functional on Whatsapp and is already a business account.

  • Make sure you have completed verification for your Facebook business manager account. 

  • The phone number has 2-step verification enabled.

  • The display name is approved and adheres to guidelines

While notability of the business is subjective, keep in mind that Whatsapp defines notability as: a well-known business that has a substantial presence in news articles from publications with sizable audiences”

How to apply for an OBA? 

Existing Exotel customers who have phone numbers operational on Whatsapp can raise a request by sending an email to hello@exotel.in

Sharing articles & news mentions of your business/ brand while raising the request will help us make a case for an OBA with Whatsapp.

What happens if my OBA request is rejected? 

A rejection is nothing to worry about and happens very often. Both business accounts have the exact same functionality when it comes to capabilities. An OBA rejection would have no impact on the way you were using the Whatsapp medium. Currently, there aren’t prescriptive and definitive guidelines for approval of an OBA request. 

As a general rule, in cases of rejection, businesses are advised to 

  • keep widening their customer base and usage on Whatsapp.

  • Increasing the coverage of their brand/business in the news and media.