One of the more interesting new features found in iOS 11.3 is Business Chat, which lets you securely communicate with businesses in Messages on your iPhone or iPad. You can get information, schedule appointments, or even make purchases with a text. At launch, Business Chat has support from a handful of partners, along with Apple itself.
What's new with Business Chat?
October 2, 2018: Business Chat arrive to businesses in UK, Canada, and more in first international expansion
Apple has expanded the availability of its Business Chat feature, allowing customers across the world to securely communicate with participating business using iMessage. Originally launching only in the U.S., Business Chat is now available in the UK, Canada, Japan, France, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, and Italy.
July 20, 2018: Aramark, DISH, Four Seasons, Harry & David, Amex now on iMessage Chat
Five additional companies are now available for customer service connections on Apple Business Chat, including:
- Aramark, with a 10-game pilot of 'Brew2You' at the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, Citizens Bank Park. By scanning a QR code on their seat back, fans in 3 sections can use Business Chat to order beer or water, and it will be delivered to their seat. (See here)
- DISH Network, to contact a live agent to ask questions, make account changes, schedule an appointment, and even order a pay-per-view movie or sporting event.
- Four Seasons, to search for any Four Seasons property and engage Four Seasons Chat.
- Harry & David Customers, to chat with a gift concierge about a product or service.
- American Express, with a pilot program for card members to get account information including balance, payment due dates, points balance, as well as ask for a Card replacement, dispute a charge, get information about their Card benefits, and more.
Also, integrated support for Apple Business Chat is now being offered by five additional platforms:
April 4, 2017: T-Mobile US now supports business chat from iPhone owners
U.S. carrier T-Mobile has added support for Apple Business Chat, both for existing customers and non-but-potentially-new-customers.
What exactly is Business Chat?
If you're looking for more information on Business Chat, check out this excellent overview by Jeffery Battersby about the system and it's advantages and potential.
Business Chat partners
To start, Business Chat has a small group of partner businesses, though that's sure to grow as the system becomes more popular. We'll be updating this list over time with additional partners.
- 1800 Contacts
- DIRECTV NOW
- Fairmont Hotels including the Claremont Club & Spa in Berkeley
- Kimpton Hotels
- Mall of America
- Scottsdale Fashion Square Santa Monica Place, and other Macerich malls
- Men's Wearhouse
- Jos A. Bank
- Quicken Loans
- West Elm
- Hendrick Automotive Group
- Lithia Group
- Robins & Day
- NH Hotels
- La Redoute
- AXA Insurance
- Vodafone Germany
- Credit Suisse
- Credit Suisse
- Harvey Norman
Spot a new one?
Have you been able to use Business Chat with a business that isn't on this list? Let us know in the comments.
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Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.