Alipay Balloons in Turkish Tourism Market
COVID-19 and China
Cappadocia in Turkey. Photo: Credit to Unsplash website

Alipay (支付宝), one of the two payment giants in China, partnered with the new generation payment platform ininal in Turkey on May 22. Following this partnership, Chinese tourists would be able to make payment in Turkey via the Alipay app and also reach to more Turkish merchants who have digital marketing.

Ininal, founded in 2012, provides financial products to unbanked customers by leveraging physical retail networks and technology. Multinet Up, the parent company of ininal, have already built connections with more than 40,000 retail merchants in Turkey, which covers more than 90% of the Turkish market.

The cooperation will be valid at the respective facilities of the tourism company Dorak Holding, which serves more than 85% of the Chinese tourists visiting Turkey. The companies accepting payment with Alipay in the scope of this service include balloon companies, such as ones in the popular tourist destinations, shops, hotels and restaurants in Cappadocia.

“The collaboration with Alipay proves the success of our brand has attained in the last six years. Alipay is the most preferred payment method in China and is widely used by Chinese tourists overseas. The fact that Alipay is used more than cash, credit cards and debit cards is an important data demonstrating the satisfaction it creates. Ininal will continue to work with powerful partners globally to bring advanced technology and services to Turkey,” says ininal CEO Ömer Suner.

When making payments in Turkey, the Chinese tourists will be able to pay in Chinese Yuan via Alipay. While for ininal, another side of the transaction will receive US dollars. The real-time exchange rate Alipay applied in the settlement is very friendly to Chinese users as well.

In addition, with the agreement (between ininal and Alipay)that will be valid in the existing and new merchants joining in, visitors will be able to make their payments in Turkish lira a couple of months later.

Despite the abovementioned balloons company, Multinet Up will include global chain restaurants and retailers at the end of the second quarter of this year. Jewelers, luxury clothing stores, museums and duty frees will also be brought into the ecosystem in the near future to expand the use of Alipay in Turkey.

In 2018, Turkey saw nearly 400,000 Chinese tourists arrive in the country, an increase of 59% compared to 2017. Turkey has been carrying out different studies and works to further increase this number. Officials expect the number of Chinese tourists to hit 500,000 this year and eventually reach 1 million in the future.

However, in a payment method report of Turkey in 2018, it shows that only 11% of Turkish people will choose E-wallet. Credit cards, on the other hand, leads in the payment method with 74%. Will this partnership between Alipay and ininal be limited to Chinese tourists? Or they might have deeper cooperations in Turkey?

"Even though Turkey is currently a credit-card-driven country, the application of QR code will eventually increase. The average age of the Turkish population is 31 years, this young and dynamic country will be more open to the mobile payment due to the great convenience it brings. " Mr. Doruk Keser, the Chief Representative of Turkey Isbank  Shanghai Office told EqualOcean.

Turkey Isbank, the largest private bank in Turkey, also cooperate with Alipay. It is the first to integrate Alipay into its e-commerce platform and virtual point of sales POS. For instance, Chinese tourists can get their E-visa online through the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and pay through Turkey Isbank by using Alipay.

Alipay currently serves over 1 billion users worldwide. It has cooperated with local payment companies in the form of partnerships and shareholding. Working with more than 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution partners, Alipay currently supports 27 different exchange rates.

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