Global Blue launches WeChat Pay refunds at Madrid airport

Chinese customers can now receive their refund via WeChat Pay as Global Blue becomes the first major VAT Refund Operator to offer the service in Europe

Global Blue strives to offer a seamless and personalised service to Globe Shoppers. After introducing Alipay instant refunds at major airports across Europe in 2017, Global Blue and Tencent Holdings Limited - a leading provider of internet value-added services based in China – have partnered to offer instant refunds via WeChat Pay at Madrid airport.

The new service follows a few simple steps:

  1. The traveller selects WeChat as the payment method when arriving at the refund counter at Madrid Airport
  2. The traveller uses the WeChat app to scan a QR code located on the refund counter, opening a mini-app, which generates a unique barcode
  3. The refund operator will scan the barcode generated by the mini-app, confirm the amount and approve the refund
  4. A real-time notification will be sent to the traveller, confirming the refund has been successfully deposited to their digital wallet


This means affiliated merchants can now offer Chinese travellers greater choice and flexibility and better attract and retain these high-value customers.

Opportunity and future plans

WeChat Pay is one of the most popular mobile payment solutions in China, with over 800 million active users per month. Global Blue therefore predicts WeChat pay will become one of the most important and popular refund options for Chinese customers.

Global Blue is also working with Tencent on an in-store early refund solution allowing Chinese Globe Shoppers to receive their refund instantly to their WeChat Pay wallet whilst still in-store. This service will be launched in Europe during the course of 2018.

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