Apple adds new integration partners to Business Chat ecosystem

The Business Chat tool lets people connect with businesses via Apple's Messages app.

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This article originally appeared on ZDNet.

Apple said Friday that it's adding Cisco, eGain, Kipsu, Lithium and Quiq as new integration partners within its Business Chat ecosystem.

Apple first teased Business Chat a year ago, pitching it as a tool that lets people connect with businesses via Apple's Messages app. As part of iOS 11.3, Apple device holders can use Business Chat to ask questions, get customer support, and make transactions on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

A handful of companies integrated their customer service platforms with Business Chat at launch, including LivePerson, Salesforce, Nuance, and Genesys.

The tool lets users find businesses with Safari, Maps, Spotlight, and Siri. Additionally, users can pay for purchases via Business Chat with Apple Pay, and also schedule appointments and deliveries with a built-in scheduling app. Businesses can give customers options within Business Chat using its built-in list app, and also prompt customers to download their custom-built iMessage app.

With this new slate of integrations, Apple is also touting five new brands that are using Business Chat for customer service applications:

  • Aramark is launching a 10-game pilot of 'Brew2You' at the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, Citizens Bank Park that lets attendees scan a QR code on their seat back to order beer or water and then have it delivered.
  • DISH Network is deploying Business Chat to its customers nationwide, allowing them to contact a live agent to ask questions, make account changes, schedule an appointment, and order a pay-per-view movie or sporting event.
  • Four Seasons will let guests search for any Four Seasons property and engage Four Seasons Chat, a multi-lingual chat service.
  • Harry & David customers can chat with a gift concierge about a product or service, and make purchases with Apple Pay.
  • American Express is kicking off a pilot program for card members to get account information including balance, payment due dates, and points balance, as well as ask for a card replacement, dispute a charge, and get information about card benefits.

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By Natalie Gagliordi

Natalie Gagliordi is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in Louisville, Kentucky, covering business technology for ZDNet. She previously worked as the editor of Kiosk Marketplace, an online B2B trade publication that focused on interactive self-...