Global Blue launches early refund services for UnionPay cardholders

Global Blue provides UnionPay credit cardholders with a range of options to claim VAT refunds before their purchases have been exported. The UnionPay service is available to Global Blue’s merchant partners and will be rolled-out worldwide during 2017. Global Blue’s partners are now able to offer its early refund services to global UnionPay cardholders.

Eysins, Switzerland, 23 March 2017 - Global Blue announces the launch of early refund services for UnionPay credit cardholders, offering shoppers with UnionPay cards greater flexibility around when and how they are paid VAT refunds, including payments direct to their accounts and early cash refunds. The services allow Global Blue affiliated merchants to provide VAT refunds on purchases to UnionPay cardholders before they are validated by Customs and exported.


An innovative service for merchants

Global Blue now provides a range of early refund services with UnionPay International allowing merchants to initiate refunds at point of sale, debit refunds direct to UnionPay cardholders’ accounts and pay refunds in cash. This complete range of services will be rolled out worldwide during 2017, meaning cardholders will have access to their preferred refund option in all scenarios.


Global Blue’s early refund options include:

• In-Store Early Cash Refunding: Available to participating retailers, this option enables customers to secure a cash payment from a refund counter before leaving the store.

• In-Store UnionPay Refunding: Globe Shoppers can chose to have VAT refunds transferred directly to their account the next working day, or deducted directly during the sale.

• Downtown Cash Refunding: In some countries, travellers can shop even more by getting an early cash from a Global Blue Downtown Refund point, using their UnionPay credit cards as a guarantee.

• Airport UnionPay Refunding: For customers who prefer to get a refund in person, refunds to UnionPay cardholders are still available at the airport.


A streamlined experience for travellers

For UnionPay cardholders, these services mean a greatly improved Tax Free Shopping experience with a number of benefits. The ability to claim refunds direct to a cardholder’s account greatly streamlines the refund process, making it simpler and more straightforward. It also means travellers can save valuable time at the airport by reducing the need to queue for refunds in the terminal.

Furthermore, UnionPay cardholders claiming refunds in cash from Downtown Refund points will have access to their payments immediately, giving them the opportunity to shop and spend more before leaving their destination.

UnionPay credit cardholders now have access to Global Blue’s full range of early refund options, while debit cardholders will benefit from refunds direct to their cards, but at present are not eligible for cash or immediate refunds in-store.


Tomas Mostany, Senior Vice President, Product Tax Free Shopping at Global Blue, commented: “Global Blue’s early refund services have proven to be a highly effective tool for retailers looking to attract and retain shoppers and we are pleased to be the first to offer them to China UnionPay cardholders. China remains the most valuable origin market for the Tax Free industry and this launch will be welcome news for merchants looking to better engage with this increasingly influential group of Globe Shoppers.”


Shuan Ghaidan, Director  of UnionPay International, added: “We are always looking for new ways to drive additional value to our cardholders and are pleased to be working with Global Blue to provide these new services. We know many UnionPay cardholders shop Tax Free and are confident the additional refunds options will prove popular with cardholders when shopping overseas.”


The launch follows a successful two month pilot of the services with European merchant partners including de Bijenkorf in Amsterdam, John Lewis and Liberty in London, and La Rinascente in Milan.


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Media contact – Global Blue


T: Duncan Skehens, AVP Corporate Communications  (+44) 7909 513 301


Media contact –UnionPay International


T: Lei Tianyu  (+86) 21 20265864


About Global Blue

Global Blue pioneered the concept of Tax Free Shopping 35 years ago and is now the worldwide industry leader, delivering Globe Shoppers the best shopping experience and creating value for retailers and partners through a range of products and services:

• Global Blue’s Tax Free Shopping solutions allow thousands of retailers, including most of the world’s best luxury, fast fashion and department store brands, to quickly and safely offer Globe Shoppers savings of up to 19% when shopping in 300,000 stores around the world

• Global Blue’s Dynamic Currency Conversion solutions allow merchants in 75,000 outlets around the world to offer foreign customers a simple and cost efficient way to pay in their domestic currency

• Global Blue’s SHOP is a targeted print and online media platform, enabling merchants to speak directly to Globe Shoppers and attract more international visitors through their doors

Global Blue operates in 51 countries, employing 1,800 people worldwide. From April 2015 to March 2016, Global Blue powered 30 million Tax Free Shopping and 12 million Dynamic Currency Conversion transactions. These totalled €21 billion worth of sales in store.

In addition, through the publication of over 9 million SHOP magazines and maps, and the creation of a wide range of online content, Global Blue helps its retail partners reach and engage with 30 million Globe Shoppers annually.

For more information visit


About UnionPay International

UnionPay International (UPI) is a subsidiary of China UnionPay focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. In partnership with more than 1000 institutions worldwide, UnionPay International has enabled card acceptance in 160 countries and regions with issuance in more than 40 countries and regions. UnionPay International provides high quality, cost effective and secure cross-border payment services to the world’s largest cardholder base and ensures convenient local services to a growing number of global UnionPay cardholders and merchants.