In November 2017, Global Blue introduced in-store refunds via Alipay to its Fast Refund service. After a successful pilot at a selection of major European stores, the service will now be rolled out in-store across Europe from April 2018.
16 countries1 across Europe will have the opportunity to offer their Chinese customers the option to receive VAT refunds in real-time, directly onto their Alipay account.
Alipay is one of the world’s largest online and offline payment platforms and one of Chinese customers’ preferred and most used payment options.
Benefits to merchants and Globe Shoppers
Fast Refund on Alipay brings Chinese customers greater choice and flexibility around when and how they receive their VAT refund and saves them valuable time at the end of their trip, by eliminating the need to locate or queue at the airport refund point.
Merchants will also benefit from the increased purchase power of Chinese Globe Shoppers who receive their refund while they are shopping in-store, as well as a higher ratio of completed refunds thanks to the streamlined airport process.
A quick and easy process
In-store Fast Refunds to Alipay wallets are initiated by store staff by scanning the Alipay QR code generated by the Globe Shopper’s smartphone. From here, a notification and refund payment is triggered to the Globe Shopper’s Alipay account and the store staff issues the Tax Free Form. Finally, Globe Shoppers must validate the export at Airport Customs and send the form back to Global Blue within 21 days.
To ensure a smooth implementation, Global Blue provides free training and a set of communications tools on Alipay Fast Refund for store staff.
The innovation is the first by any major Tax Free Shopping provider and was initially launched successfully in November 2017, at stores in Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Prague.