Written on 30/09/2022

WhatsApp is perfectly suited to our pace of life and work, because it is a free, fast, easy-to-use application that almost everyone has and allows us to communicate immediately with other users.  However, caution must be exercised when using it, especially if it is a company or a professional since misuse of it can violate data protection regulations (GDPR).  You will also have read this week about sixteen banks in the USA being fined for abusing Whatsapp, or rather not keeping tabs on what their employees are saying and doing on Whatsapp. 

An easy solution for the banks would have been to sign up to Whatsapp business.  This allows for links to CRM systems, bulk messaging and promotions, (eg ISA season) and it comes with a browser link, so that all messages are bulk recorded, and can be linked straight onto your business storage facility.

A halfway point between the paid for “Whatsapp business API” and Whatsapp personal is via Whatsapp Business, which, like the personal version we all use, is also free. 

Any company that wants to communicate with its customers in bulk must use WhatsApp Business, instead of WhatsApp Messenger.  And to use WhatsApp Business application, you must follow its Terms and Conditions, because misuse of the application would entail the risk that WhatsApp suspends your account.

There is a whole range of clever features designed for whatsapp business users, and the paid version even connects to other apps and CRM systems and allow automated marketing messages.  (Sounds like email of course!)

What is interesting about WhatsApp Business is the API (Application Programming Interface), which allows different functions to be integrated, including the function that allows obtaining the user's consent, before starting communicating with it, so the company could prove that the user's consent has been collected.

In this sense, WhatsApp Business allows you to create welcome messages in new conversations with the user, so the company must take advantage of this message to give the user basic information on data processing.

The sending of advertising by WhatsApp, that has not previously been requested or expressly authorized by the recipients of the same is prohibited.  But luckily this does not apply when there is a prior contractual relationship.  So you can Whatsapp your customers about the ISA season, or an increase in mortgage rates. 

Another different use of WhatsApp Business to communicate internally, between colleagues.  

If the group has been created by the employer, all workers must be notified in advance, always giving them the possibility of accepting or rejecting being included in the group, especially if their private telephone is going to be used, and always giving them the possibility of revoking your consent and to be able to exercise your rights at any time.  

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