On the Heels of Increasing Chinese Tourism, Alipay is Coming to Israel
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Israel more than doubled over the last two years
For daily updates, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.
The move is part of Alipay's global expansion plan. In May 2017 the company announced a partnership with payments processor First Data that will enable Chinese tourists to use the service with four million American merchants; in December Alipay signed a similar deal with Cambodia's local payment platform Pi Pay. On Monday, Alipay announced a partnership with European payment service provider SIX Payment Services to make the platform available across most local businesses in Davos, Switzerland, a popular ski resort and conference center.
“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," said Ms. Li Wang, head of EMEA at Alipay, in a statement. "We are excited to see our partners bringing Alipay to the Middle East for Israeli experiences, local shops and in-flight payments.”"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," said Mr. Doron Sapir, CEO of CAL, in a statement.
As part of the agreement with Alipay, the Israeli credit card company will supply local merchants with tablets connected to Alipay's system, which would enable customers to pay by scanning a QR code. CAL and Alipay have launched a marketing campaign and are hoping to sign on businesses catering to tourists like hotels and restaurants, a CAL spokeswoman said in an interview with Calcalist Monday.
Among the companies already offering the service are Israel's flag carrier El Al Israel Airlines Ltd., Israel-based Dead Sea cosmetics manufacturer Ahava, acquired by Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. in 2016, and the James Richardson Corporation, which operates duty-free retail stores in many global airports, including Ben Gurion airport, Israel's main international gateway.
This article was corrected. A previous version stated Alipay is owned by Alibaba Group.