In brief: Apple is looking to increase the revenue stream coming from its new Business Chat service. Cupertino has brought 30 new companies onboard with many headquartered overseas. The service was previously only available to firms in the United States.
Last year Apple announced Business Chat. It is a service that allows companies to provide customer service over the Message (previously iMessage) platform. At rollout earlier this year, the service was only available for US businesses. On Tuesday, the company announced a significant expansion to the service.
AppleInsider reports the expansion includes 30 new brands in at least ten different countries. Some of the brands include Burberry (UK), Vodafone Germany, Swisscom, NH Hotels (Spain), Engie (France), Credit Suisse (Singapore), Harvey Norman (Australia) and KDDI (Japan).
There are also several new companies in the US that have been added to the list including Men’s Warehouse, Overstock, and Quicken Loans among others. This expands the limited US coverage which previously only included Apple, American Express, Home Depot, Newegg, T-Mobile, and Wells Fargo.
Business Chat is integrated into native Apple apps like Safari, Maps, Siri, and Spotlight. For example, say you located a business in Maps that is supported by Business Chat. When you look at the information page for the company, you will see the various options like get directions and call. If the company has paid for Business Chat, you will also have the choice to chat with a representative. The conversation happens through Messages. Presumably, users can even make purchases over Business Chat using Apple Pay.