Diamond Mines, Caprice, and Ahava cosmetics are among the first businesses in the Middle East to offer in-store payments using Alipay's digital wallet.
Tel Aviv, Israel, 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 move makes Israel the first country in the Middle East in which Alipay can be used for in-store payments, following 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 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 percent year on year in 2017. Last year, over 123,000 Chinese tourists visited the country. The typical Chinese tourist has an average of nine days in Israel, during which they spend approximately 300 U.S. dollars per day.
"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," said Doron Sapir, CEO of CAL.
"Our users are traveling to Israel to see the unique heritage of this country, enjoy local experiences, make lifetime memories and bring home high-quality local products," said 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 payment," she said.