Following the expansion (via MacRumors), Business Chat is now available in these countries and territories:
- Hong Kong
- United Kingdom
- United States
A number of companies issued press releases announcing support for Business Chat, including automotive retailer Lithia Motors in the US, wireless carrier Vodafone in Germany, retailer Harvey Norman in Australia, investment bank Credit Suisse in Hong Kong and Singapore, carrier KDDI in Japan, hotel chain NH Hotels and others.
Each company uses Business Chat differently.
Luxury fashion retailer Burberry will take advantage of the service to help customers check product availability, get sizing and fitting information and help place orders worldwide.
As another example, Four Seasons customers can communicate with employees at each of its 88 hotels in over 100 languages. Other brands, including hotel chain NH Hotels and West Elm, are also rolling out customer service through Business Chat in multiple countries.
Announced at 2017’s WWDC, Business Chat is similar to business chat services from the likes of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and so forth. It lets Apple customers conduct conversation with business representatives and do things like schedule an appointment or make a purchase using Apple Pay, all without leaving the Messages app.
Business Chat debuted with iOS 11.3 and macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, both of which released in March 2018. Business Chat, currently in beta, was initially supported by select brands, including Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo.
The feature protects your privacy by prohibiting sharing of customers’ contact information with businesses. To prevent a business from making contact with you through Business Chat, simply delete the chat you initiated.