Published on : Monday, April 11, 2016
China and Israel have made an agreement that allows both sides to issue 10-year multiple-entry visas to each other’s applicants. The agreement is expected to attract more Chinese tourists to Israel. To better serve UnionPay cardholders visiting Israel, UnionPay International has been speeding up the optimization of its acceptance footprint in the market since the beginning of the year. It is predicted that 70% of ATMs and about 40% of POS terminals in Israel will be able to accept UnionPay cards by the end of this year, delivering convenient and safe payment service to tourists.
The other day, China and Israel have signed an agreement on 10-year multi-entry visa. Applicants from both sides are able to get visas which are valid for up to 10 years, and which allow them to enter the other country for multiple times, with each stay of no more than 90 days. Israel becomes another country that has issued the 10-year multi-entry visa to Chinese citizens, following countries like the U.S. and Canada.
In recent years, the destinations of Chinese outbound tourists are farther away from the Chinese mainland and are more diversified. Though Israel is a relatively less popular destination, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country is increasing rapidly year by year. According to the data from Israel Ministry of Tourism, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Israel has witnessed a year-on-year growth of over 30% in the past three years, and reached 47,400 in 2015, 43% more than the previous year. This momentum is still keeping up.
As more and more Chinese outbound tourists prefer independent and in-depth traveling, UnionPay cards are present in an increasing number of destinations with special interests. Now, about 30% of ATMs in Israel accept UnionPay cards for cash withdrawal and the number of merchants accepting UnionPay cards is increasing rapidly. Last Wednesday, UnionPay International CEO Cai Jianbo had just met with Bank Leumi Chairman, David Brodet in Shanghai. Leumi Card Ltd., subordinate to Bank Leumi, is not only one of the top two acquirers in Israel but also an important local partner of UnionPay International.
At the meeting, the two sides agreed to rapidly expand the local application channels of UnionPay cards, enabling UnionPay cards acceptance at 70% of ATMs and 40% of POS terminals in Israel within the year. The two sides will also take advantage of the advanced financial technology of Israel to deepen cooperation in the sharing of emerging payment technology, as well as the optimization of UnionPay innovative products and services systems.
Currently, countries like the U.S., Canada and South Korea issue 10-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese citizens, and Singapore will follow suit this June. UnionPay cards can be used conveniently in all these countries. In the U.S. and Singapore, almost all ATMs accept UnionPay cards for cash withdrawal; in Canada, 85% of ATMs accept UnionPay cards. Nearly all merchants in South Korea and 80% of merchants in the U.S. support signature-based payment with UnionPay cards.