Apple Business Chat (iMessage) for Banks: An Upward Trend in Mobile Banking

Apple Business Chat for banking is a mobile banking trend that will continue to grow in 2020. Business Chat is a new communication platform that allows businesses to communicate with customers through iMessage, and customers can quickly chat with the bank using native Apple applications. In the article, we will consider how Business Chat works, what bank operations could be delegated to iMessage and implementation cases in major banks in the US, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Africa.

Russian banking applications popularity on iOS and Android

Application quality and banking mobile apps popularity on the App Store and Google play platforms is always different, as indicated by the number of reviews on the platforms and user ratings. Chatbots.Studio analyzed the top 10 free banking applications on the App Store in Russia and compared them with similar applications on Google play based on data from AppAnnie on 06.27.2020.

On the table, we see that the user ratings on iOS are on average lower than on Android, and on some applications, iOS user rating is between 3.1-3.3. In addition, we see that the number of reviews of banking applications on the App Store is 17% more than on Google play. It is worth noting that among the top 10 bank apps on Google play there are apps like Telecard 2.0 from Gazprombank, MTS Bank Online from MTS Bank, Mobile Bank from Russian Agricultural Bank Russian Agricultural Bank. In general, we see several things – the uneven customer reviews distribution, which indicates the banks’ emphasis on a particular platform and the subsidence of the quality of banking apps for IOS. Below we will see how to deploy a service for iOS users without creating a mobile app.

What is Apple Business Chat

Creating a bank network that supports Apple Pay in 2014, Apple entered into agreements with the 6 largest banks of America – American Express, Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo. Thus, Apple, with the help of the US banking market giants, laid the foundation for adapting banking processes to Apple products.

The company announced the creation of Apple Business Chat in 2017. Business Chat is built as a communication platform for IOS owners (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod), where they can be redirected to the iMessage (native instant messenger, built-in all Apple devices) in several ways and interact with other native Apple apps like Calendar or Apple Pay.

Ways to send user to iMessage:

  • From Apple Maps, 
  • with voice assistant Siri 
  • With Apple Spotlight
  • With CTA button on a website

Using Apple Business Chat is relevant for both small and medium-sized businesses, and for enterprises, without reference to the company industry specialization.

Apple Business Chat Opportunities for Banks

For banks, Business Chat is interested in a security system adapted for conducting payment transactions with Apple Pay and the ability to adapt chatbot processes to the international PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Apple Business Chat benefits for banking:

  • no need to install additional applications
  • receive instant, automatic support responses
  • planning meetings and visits
  • customer ability to always return to chat
  • fast Apple Business Chat chatbot development speed 
  • the technology is available for all countries (via Apple Pay vs local banks partnership)
  • payment security through Apple Pay

Apple Business Chat features for banking:

  • Customer can connect with the live agent or callback order
  • Customer can set up appointments directly to Apple Calendar
  • Customer can define somethings location using Apple Maps
  • Customer can use Apple Pay
  • Business can use Rich media content: pictures and video

What is Apple Business Chat

Creating a bank network that supports Apple Pay in 2014, Apple entered into agreements with the 6 largest banks of America – American Express, Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo. Thus, Apple, with the help of the US banking market giants, laid the foundation for adapting banking processes to Apple products.

The company announced the creation of Apple Business Chat in 2017. Business Chat is built as a communication platform for IOS owners (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod), where they can be redirected to the iMessage (native instant messenger, built-in all Apple devices) in several ways and interact with other native Apple apps like Calendar or Apple Pay.

Ways to send a user to iMessage:

  • From Apple Maps, 
  • with voice assistant Siri 
  • With Apple Spotlight
  • With CTA button on a website

Using Apple Business Chat is relevant for both small and medium-sized businesses, and for enterprises, without reference to the company industry specialization.

Apple Business Chat Opportunities for Banks

For banks, Business Chat is interested in a security system adapted for conducting payment transactions with Apple Pay and the ability to adapt chatbot processes to the international PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Apple Business Chat benefits for banking:

  • no need to install additional applications
  • receive instant, automatic support responses
  • planning meetings and visits
  • customer ability to always return to chat
  • fast Apple Business Chat chatbot development speed 
  • the technology is available for all countries (via Apple Pay vs local banks partnership)
  • payment security through Apple Pay

Apple Business Chat features for banking:

  • Customer can connect with the live agent or callback order
  • Customer can set up appointments directly to Apple Calendar
  • Customer can define somethings location using Apple Maps
  • Customer can use Apple Pay
  • Business can use Rich media content: pictures and video

Apple Business Chat Examples for Banks

HSBC Bank USA – Customer support through iMessage

HSBC Bank USA is a branch bank of HSBC Holdings plc, which is in the top-20 banks of America due to domestic deposits.

According to Marcus Malcolm, Head of staff digital solutions at HSBC Bank USA – about 70% of the bank’s customers are iOS users. Therefore, on April 22, 2020, the bank provided customers with customer support in the messenger.

Clients can use a chatbot in several ways:

  • Go to the phone number from the search page and select the iMessage option (Apple Chat Suggest technology)
  • Via Siri
  • Via Apple Maps (when pop-up locations of HSBC bank appear)
  • Via Apple Spotlight

Apple Business Chat menu consists of sections:

  • COVID-19 Account Concerns
  • Existing Checking
  • Savings
  • CD 
  • Online Banking
  • Mobile App Help

On June 23, 2020, HSBC UK, focused on retail banking, also announced access to Apple’s business chat.

Monobank – quick technical support via iMessage

Monobank is a Ukrainian bank, without any branches, serving 2.3 million customers. The main competitive advantage of the bank is customer support, which is maintained through the bank’s hotline and application, as well as through chatbots in instant messengers – Facebook

Messenger, Viber and Telegram. In October 2019, the bank became the first bank to connect to Apple Business Chat in Ukraine.

United Bank for Africa: Financial Assistant at Apple Business Chat

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc is the largest African financial group, serving 20 African countries and having branches in Paris, London and New York. United Bank for Africa is a pioneer in introducing chat banking in Nigeria. A chatbot of a bank named Leo received positive feedback from Mark Zuckerberg at a conference in San Francisco. Bot Leo serves customers at FB Messenger, WhatsApp and Apple Business Chat.

Banking features available in bot through Apple Business Chat:

  • Open a bank account
  • Check balance
  • Money transfers to an account or card
  • Payment of bills

Alfa-Bank (Belarus): Technical Support at iMessage

“More than 85% of technical support requests via digital channels come from mobile devices. We expect it to quickly become the preferred method for our customers. ” – said Vyacheslav Skorbezh, communications director at Alfa Bank.

Alfa-Bank Belarus Apple Business Chat chatbot features:

  • Ask a Question,
  • order a new card
  • change solution package
  • perform other operations with banking products
  • send stickers directly in the Messages application
  • the bank cannot see the personal information in a correspondence unless the client provides it himself
  • Chat with a live support agent

Tinkoff – Apple Business Chat for Customer Support service

Key features of Tinkoff Bank Apple Business Chat:

  • answer all customer questions about all and services of the Tinkoff ecosystem
  • apply for products, for example, for issuing bank cards
  • have messages stored on user devices
  • use the opportunity at any time to continue the dialogue with support
  • perform funds transfer operations
  • to perform other actions with cards and accounts that require a high level of security, it will also be possible to carry out through Apple Business Chat after verifying the identity of the client.

Summarizing the above, we examined the Apple Business Chat use cases for banking in the USA, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Africa. The development of such a solution is relevant for banks whose customers are actively using products on IOS devices. The main goal of creating a bot is often customer support. But we can already see the appearance in Apple Business Chat of opportunities for use in banking products. Creating a bot can be both a competitive advantage of the bank and a tool to increase customer loyalty.

Apple Business Chat development services

Chatbots.Studio team develop bot platforms for banks in instant messengers – Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, Telegram, FB Messenger and Viber. It takes 2-3 months to develop and implement a chatbot for banks in instant messengers because we implement solutions through a ready-made bot platform for banks.

Among the clients for whom we have already implemented chatbots in instant messengers are PrivatBank, VTB Azerbaijan, CenterCredit, Sberbank Kazakhstan and Concord Bank.

Chatbots.Studio case at Apple Business Chat for Ukrainian supermarket chain

In 2019, we developed a chatbot for one of the largest supermarket chains in Ukraine – Varus. In the chatbot, users can log in via mobile phone, as well as:

  • Get a bonus card
  • Learn about special offers for specific products
  • Take the online test at Covid-19
  • Find the nearest store
  • Connect operator

If you have any questions about Apple Business Chat in banking or about WhatsApp, Telegram, FB Messenger or Viber chatbot development, you can fill out the contact form or write us a message at bank@chatbots.studio.