With the launch, Israel will be first Middle Eastern country to accept the Chinese payment juggernaut Alipay. The entrance into the Israeli market was brought about by a partnership between Israel Credit Card, OneBill, and Alipay. The availability of Alipay means Chinese visitors can use the payment method while making in-store purchases in Israel.
Chinese travelers to Israel have been increasing over the years, with a 45% jump in 2017. During 2017, more than 123,000 Chinese tourists visited Israel, averaging nine days in the country, with each tourist spending USD 300 per day. Thus, the Chinese market represents a significant opportunity for Israel and its businesses. The CEO of Israel Credit Card, Doron Sapir, made the following assessment:
“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.”
Many Israeli businesses have already announced that they will offer payments using Alipay, including James Richardson Duty Free stores, national airline EL-AL, and Diamond Mines jewelry chain stores.
Li Wang, who helms EMEA at Alipay, speaks about the ease of payment the service brings to Chinese visitors and the company’s enthusiasm in expanding its offerings to the country:
“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.”