Israel Becomes the First Middle-East Country with Merchants Accepting Alipay to Welcome Chinese Tourists

Diamond Mines, Caprice, Ahava cosmetics and others are among the first businesses in the Middle East to offer instore payments with Alipay’s digital wallet.

TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Israel Credit Card (ICC, CAL) and OneBill have announced they will be cooperating with Chinese payment market leader Alipay to facilitate payments for Chinese visitors to Israel.

The availability of Alipay means Israel becomes the first country in the Middle East in which it can be used for instore payments. This follows Alipay’s extensive international expansion in recent years. The service is available for Chinese tourists and business travelers visiting Israel.

Israeli businesses are showing great interest in the economic benefits of Chinese tourism, and many have already announced they will enable payments through Alipay. National Airline El-Al and James Richardson Duty Free chain stores will soon accept Alipay, with Diamond Mines prestigious jewelry chain stores launching Alipay powered payments last week.

According to information received from the Ministry of Tourism and the Israel-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the volume of Chinese arrivals to Israel increased 45% year-on-year in 2017. Last year, over 123,000 Chinese tourists visited Israel. The typical Chinese tourist visits Israel for an average period of 9 days, during which each tourist spends approximately $300 daily.

Mr. Doron Sapir, CEO of CAL said "The significant increase in Chinese tourism made us realize that we had to move quickly, and in less than six months we are announcing today the launch of Alipay’s wallet platform in Israel. This alliance with the leading global brand Alipay constitutes a significant step forward in the credit sector, which will increase clientele for Israeli businesses and expose them to a new market."

“Our users are travelling to Israel to see the unique heritage of this country, enjoy local experiences, make lifetime memories and bring home high quality local products,” said Ms Li Wang, Head of EMEA at Alipay. “Chinese travelers are seeking to travel and pay with only their mobile phone when they are abroad - just as they do when they are in China. So we are excited to see our partners bringing Alipay to the Middle East for Israeli experiences, local shops and in-flight payments.”

About ICC- Israel Credit Card

ICC is owned by Israel Discount Bank (71.8%) and the First International Bank of Israel (28.2%). Cal issues and settles Visa, MasterCard, and Diners (issued exclusively in Israel by ICC) credit cards, and provides a wide range of issuing and clearing services, as well as payment solutions, to 2.4 million cards and businesses.

About Alipay

Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 520 million active users and over 200 domestic financial institution partners. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 40 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers more than 35 countries across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.

About Ant Financial

Ant Financial Services Group is focused on serving small and micro enterprises, as well as individuals. Ant Financial is dedicated to bringing the world more equal opportunities through building a technology-driven open ecosystem and working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Businesses operated by Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit and MYbank. For more information on Ant Financial, please visit our website at www.antgroup.com or follow us on Twitter @AntFinancial.


Contacts

For additional information:
Ms. Sagit Ofir
CAL Spokesperson
052-4704382
sagit.ofir@icc.co.il
or
Ms. Xinyun Yang
Alipay PR
+86-13816896301
xinyun.yang@antfin.com