WhatsApp OTP: Introducing Meta’s Special Feature

Diana Nersisyan
Diana NersisyanProduct Owner

Published: May 24, 2023

WhatsApp OTP

Whether you’re verifying an account, resetting credentials, or perhaps authenticating a transaction, security is key. While many verification processes are known for being unnecessarily long and inconvenient, one-time passwords offer just as much security—but often at the click of a button. 

For quite some time, SMS has been the standard for OTP verification. But this reign could very well come to an end with the advent of WhatsApp OTP codes. This new feature by Meta is believed to be a reliable way to authenticate online activity—perhaps more so than SMS. And with the introduction of the Meta WhatsApp Cloud API, this app could very well become the norm for business texting sooner than expected. 

What is WhatsApp OTP?

WhatsApp One-Time Password (OTP) is a system of authentication that uses the messaging solution to send a unique, temporary code known as an OTP. The code is sent to a user's registered phone number, and the user is required to enter it to verify their identity and proceed with transactions or logins. This method leverages the security and widespread use of the app to provide a seamless and safe authentication process.


Why Use WhatsApp OTP?

There are several reasons to make use of one-time password authentication via WhatsApp. These include but are not limited to, the platform's end-to-end encryption, high delivery rates, cost-effectiveness, and excellent user experience. 

Text Message API Service Pricing

Dexatel employs a pay-as-you-go approach that charges you per sent message. This is the most affordable SMS gateway pricing model, and the service costs are free of setup, monthly, or any other fees.

End-to-End Encryption

WhatsApp messages, including OTPs, come with end-to-end encryption. This means that only the intended recipient can read the message. The security text that the app displays at the top of every chat—including those triggered by two-factor authentication—clearly informs the user that the message they received is fully encrypted every step of the way.

Two-Way Communication

The app two-way communication feature enables smooth interaction between businesses and users. This may not always be possible with SMS texting, particularly with notifications that you can’t reply to. Users of the app, on the other hand, can easily reach businesses should they encounter any issues. The fact that they can do so enhances the overall user experience of the app, which in turn validates its use by businesses. 


Sending OTPs on the app is more cost-effective than traditional SMS codes, particularly for businesses that have customers abroad.Using the WhatsApp API also gives you access to 1,000 free messages per month. This makes the channel especially perfect for businesses that have a small audience; the application becomes virtually free to use. 

High Delivery Rates

Sending a one-time password requires the recipient to have access to a cellular signal. This may not always be possible for those in areas with poor coverage. Unlike SMS, WhatsApp messages have a near 100% delivery rate—through either Wi-Fi or mobile data. It’s also worth noting that using WhatsApp to send OTPs doesn’t involve the possibility of having to deal with multiple carriers. 

High Level of Trust

There’s no denying that SMS is a great communication channel to work with. But it’s not always easy to tell whether a text message is from a credible source or not. And while having a sender ID with your brand name can prove authenticity, many recipients may still not fully trust it.

On the other hand, WhatsApp only allows you to send messages using the API after it verifies your business. This means the recipient can guarantee that any one-time password they receive is credible. 

Reliable Fallback

As widespread as the app is, there are still people who don’t use the app or don’t open messages. That’s where SMS comes in handy as a fallback. Should the recipient not be able to receive the message for whatever reason, the code goes through via SMS instead. All this is possible thanks to the ability to integrate WhatsApp with SMS. 

Option to Block

While many SMS messages give you the chance to opt out, that option is not always available. WhatsApp, however, allow users to block a contact that sends unsolicited messages. This makes it ideal for reaching out to your audiences with their guaranteed permission, whether it’s for sending verification codes, marketing messages, or any other form of business communication.  

OTP WhatsApp Vs. SMS

While SMS has traditionally been the standard medium for sending OTPs, WhatsApp offers numerous advantages over SMS. These include full encryption for enhanced security, higher rates of delivery, and a better user experience.

On the other hand, SMS is more likely to be associated with spam. It also requires a stable signal for the text to reach the user. Moreover, the app's two-way communication feature allows users to quickly and easily address any issues they may encounter, which is not possible with traditional SMS OTP. 


How to Start Sending OTP with WhatsApp API

To begin sending one-time codes, you will need a WhatsApp Business account and access to the API. The entire process is fairly straightforward. Here’s a quick rundown of how to get started with setting up and sending them: 

1. Create a Business Account 

Fill in your business details in the form provided by your business messaging service. Once you enter all the required information, simply wait for the app to verify your business

2. Set up Facebook Business Manager 

Log into your Facebook account and access the Facebook Business Manager. Under 'Business Settings', select 'Accounts' and then 'WhatsApp Accounts'. Add your business account.

3. Generate and Send the OTP

Use the WhatsApp API to generate a code and send it to the user's number.

4. Verify the OTP

Once the user enters the received OTP, use the API to verify it. If the code is valid, the user can proceed. If not, display an error message and prompt the user to try again.


How to Send a Code With Dexatel

Meta announced that it will roll out WhatsApp OTP verification as a separate feature on June 1, 2023, with different pricing across countries. The feature will automatically be available on Dexatel on the same day.

As a leading provider of business messaging solutions, Dexatel offers API integrations that allow businesses to benefit from the vast user base of the instant messaging app. The following steps outline the process of sending a code via Dexatel’s platform. 

  1. You’ll need to create an account on Dexatel and fill in the form stating that you want to use the ap

  2. The system will monitor that information and verify it with Meta

  3. You’ll get a profile with a verified badge and you’ll be able to send messages 

  4. Using the WhatsApp Business API, you can automate texts and set triggers based on use cases

  5. The pricing is based on delivery status. That is to say, if the recipient doesn’t have WhatsApp or an internet connection, the message will not be charged