Policies

All businesses must comply with the following Apple Messages for Business channel policies.

Live support available. The business must provide access to a live agent in this channel during its regular business hours. A business must not provide a limited or bot-only solution.

Unsolicited messages. Your business is prohibited from sending unsolicited messages. Your business may only send a message in response to an active conversation unless you comply with the restrictions below.

  • If your business wants to send important notifications related to your customer's account status or previous transactions, then your business must provide the following notification, "We will send important notifications related to your account status or transactions. Send 'Unsubscribe' to manage your message preferences."

  • Businesses and Messaging Service Providers (MSPs) must support subscribe and unsubscribe operations that allow the customer to configure message delivery preferences. The List Picker should permit the customer to select or unselect the notification types that your business may send.

  • At no time may your business send marketing information, promotional offers, or information related to products or services that the customer has not purchased unless the customer has expressly sent "subscribe" and provided their permission.

Deleted conversation. Businesses and MSPs must not send messages to customers when they expressly delete a conversation. MSPs must handle the delete action received through Apple Messages for Business and should not send any further messages to the customer unless the customer initiates conversation again with the business.

Trigger words. Businesses that employ these features should use and respond to standardized trigger words. Businesses should use the primary term in text sent to the customer, but should also support the alternative words if sent by a customer.

  • To reach a live agent, the primary term is "agent". Alternatives are "support" or "help".
  • To view a menu or list of available items, the primary word is "menu". Alternatives are "list" or "?".
  • To manage message preferences, the primary term is "unsubscribe". Alternatives are "spam", "stop", or "end".

Requesting Personal Identifiable Information (PII). This PII policy is applicable at all times in the Apple Messages for Business conversation and applies to both live agent and automation flows.

Businesses must not request PII from the user until the point in the conversation where it is necessary to request this information to address the user's issue or inquiry.

To begin a PII request, a clarifying question must be asked first. This question must be phrased as a yes-no question in this manner, "Is your inquiry related to your account with us?" where the user must answer with "Yes" or "No". If the user answers "Yes" then PII can be requested.

PII can be requested for these purposes:

  1. First name only for relationship building.
  2. Full name or other PII for account creation or account information retrieval.

Brand Privacy Policy/Terms of Use statements. Privacy policies and terms of use should not be displayed in-line. The brand should provide a rich link to a web page with this content. Also, this link should be presented under two conditions: 1. First engagement by the user, and 2. when the policy or terms have been updated. It should not be sent at the start of every conversation. Additional details:

  • Statements such as “data rates may apply” or similar are not appropriate for Apple Messages for Business. Smart phones are always online, constantly sending a receiving data over cellular and WiFi networks for a variety of reasons, including weather updates, social media updates and notifications, email, web browsing, software update checks and more.
  • “Messaging rates may apply” relates to SMS, not Internet-based messaging. This should not be used for Apple Messages for Business.
  • "This Chat may be recorded" or similar are also not appropriate for Apple Messages for Business. By definition, written communication means that both the sender and recipient have a permanent copy of the conversation.

Prohibited uses. The following list of business categories are prohibited from offering Apple Messages for Business to their customers:

  • Violates any law or otherwise fails to comply with legal requirements;
  • Offers transactions involving:
    • Cigarettes or tobacco products;
    • Vaping;
    • Counterfeit or stolen goods;
    • Firearms, weapons, or ammunition;
    • Gambling;
    • Gaming involving purchases of digital goods (customer service is allowed);
    • Illegal drugs or non-legally prescribed controlled substances;
    • Items that create consumer safety risks;
    • Items that are intended to be used to engage in illegal activities;
    • Political organizations (government institutions are allowed);
    • Pornography; or
    • Personal fundraising or collections of nonprofit donations unless approved by Apple.
  • Primarily offers or sells drug paraphernalia or sexually-oriented items or services;
  • Promotes hate, violence, or intolerance based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation;
  • Allows an end-user to purchase currency or establish a pre-paid account;
  • Constitutes a staged digital wallet (for example, where a second payment transaction is conducted in order to complete the first transaction or where there is a substitute merchant of record in a transaction);
  • Engages in fraud;
  • Infringes or violates the intellectual property, publicity, or privacy rights of another; or
  • Shows Apple or its products in a false or derogatory light.

Apple reserves the right at any time to disable Apple Messages for Business for any reason it deems prudent.