Alipay partners Global Tax Free to roll out tax refund service in Singapore
By Digital News Asia January 29, 2018
- Can receive refunds in Chinese Yuan with shorter waiting time over credit card refund
- Covers all 2000 brands and merchants under the Electronic Tourists Refund Scheme
ALIPAY, a mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, along with Global Tax Free announced that Chinese travellers visiting Singapore can now have tax refunds deposited directly into their Alipay accounts after completing all procedures at the airport.
Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to offer this service to Chinese tourists.
The move follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Alipay and Global Tax Free (GTF) last September.
“The new tax refund service is a natural extension of our offering as a smart lifestyle platform for consumers and Chinese travellers. Alipay’s ecosystem of merchants covers shopping, dining, attraction, transportation and entertainment.
“By including tax refunds, we are able to offer greater convenience and better shopping experience to Chinese travellers,” said Cherry Huang, general manager, Cross-border Business for South and Southeast Asia, Alipay.
Through Alipay, Chinese visitors to Singapore can now receive their refunds in Chinese Yuan with shorter waiting time over credit card refund. This service covers all 2000 brands and merchants in Singapore under the Electronic Tourists Refund Scheme (eTRS).
“By working closely with Alipay to provide Chinese travellers more convenience and refund options, we will be able to better address the needs of these users and retailers. Shoppers are encouraged to choose Singapore as their preferred travel destination for shopping while retailers can attract and retain new and loyal shoppers through this new system, we are very happy to make Alipay tax refund available for the convenience of tourists in the environment of great and advanced eTRS system of Singapore,” said Kelvin Poh, country commercial head, Global Tax Free.
“The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is pleased to support the launch of Alipay as an additional mode of refund beyond cash and credit card. This will offer Chinese shoppers, who are frequent users of digital payment systems, a more seamless and enjoyable shopping experience in Singapore,” said Ranita Sundra, director, Attractions, Dining & Retail, STB.
The new tax refund service is easy to use (see image below) and offers a shorter waiting time over credit card refund, which requires a lead time of up to 10 days.
Through Alipay, Chinese shoppers can now enjoy a faster and more seamless refund process, as they can get their refunds in Chinese Yuan credited into their Alipay accounts immediately after completing the necessary procedures at the airport.
Alipay also offers a strong and favourable exchange rate that further enhances the overall shopping experience for Chinese visitors in Singapore.
China is one of Singapore’s key markets for tourism. Based on statistics published by the Singapore Tourism Board, 2.86 million Chinese travellers that visited the nation in 2016 accounted for S$3.5 billion in tourism receipts, of which 43% was contributed by shopping.
Alipay has rolled out the tax refund service in 20 countries worldwide, including South Korea and Germany. Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to implement the Alipay tax refund scheme.