WhatsApp officially offers a migration path from the WhatsApp for Business App to the WhatsApp for Business API, which works like a charm. Here is a peek into how we tackled it.
First of you need to get your display name approved. Your WhatsApp Business Solution Provider can do this while setting up your WhatsApp Business Account in Facebook Business Manager. This step is essential to create a certificate, otherwise, the WhatsApp Business API client will not work.
It is possible to keep the phone number that is already registered in your WhatsApp Business application. However, it is required to delete the old account associated with that phone number and then triggering the WhatsApp for Business API registration process. The migration of your phone number is described here. While you are migrating your number all incoming messages will be queued by WhatsApp servers and delivered after a successful migration. From here there is no way back; existing chats (history) cannot be imported once the number has been moved to the API; profile settings need to be reconfigured. Your former WhatsApp Business Client can not be used afterwards.
The number is now on the WhatsApp Business API. All numbers set up for the WhatsApp for Business API need to remain with the Business Service Provider that originally implemented the number. There is currently no way to move the number to another Business Service Provider.
If that phone number has not been used on WhatsApp Business API, you can use that phone number. Follow the migration steps outlined here to reuse that phone number.
It doesn't matter if the number was in use or is currently in use. If you have access to these numbers, try this before attempting to register with the Business API.
Take a consumer device (ios/android) and install the consumer app
Use it to register the numbers you have. As it's a landline, select voice.
Once registered, delete the account using the app -> At this stage, the number should have been removed from any existing registrations.
Use WhatsApp for Business API to register the number, and select voice again.
Deleting the WhatsApp account on your Android or iPhone will cause any incoming messages to be queued by the WhatsApp servers and then subsequently delivered upon successful registration.
There is currently no option to import previous conversations.
A number migration from a BSP to another BSP is NOT possible.
The number migration is a time-consuming process. Please check with your customer success manager to see if there is an extra fee for the migration.
Official Business Approval is only available for selected WhatsApp for Business API clients. It's not affected by the migration, but once the number has been upgraded to the WhatsApp for Business API it's possible to request the OBA-status.