Global Blue launches WeChat Pay refunds at Madrid airport

The first major VAT Refund Operator to offer travellers an instant refund service on WeChat in Europe

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.

Greater choice and flexibility for Chinese customers

Merchants affiliated with Global Blue can now offer Chinese travelers even greater choice and flexibility on how they claim their tax refund, helping them to attract and retain these high-value customers.

For travelers, a few simple steps need to be followed; after making their purchases and completing their Tax Free Forms, they simply need to select WeChat as their payment method when arriving at the refund counter in Madrid.

Chinese travelers will scan a QR code located on the refund counter using the WeChat App on their smartphone. This will open a mini-app on their phone and generate a unique barcode for the refund operator to scan.

The refund operator will scan the code, confirm the refund amount and approve the payment to the traveler’s WeChat wallet. The traveler then receives a real-time notification from WeChat, confirming the refund has been successfully deposited to their digital wallet.

This up-to-the-minute innovation gives Chinese Globe Shoppers more choice about how they can receive their tax refund in addition to making the Tax Free Shopping journey quicker and easier at the airport. In parallel, affiliated merchants will benefit from these Globe Shoppers’ increased purchasing power.

Opportunity and future plans

Owned by Tencent Holdings Limited, WeChat is the most prevalent instant messaging platform for Chinese travelers, and WeChat Pay 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 your 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 across Europe during the course of 2018.

To know more, please contact your local Global Blue representative.