With celebrations for Chinese New Year in full swing, Global Blue and Alipay, the leading digital payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, have successfully implemented an innovative real-time tax refund service for Chinese globe shoppers.

Thanks to a straightforward process, once the Chinese shopper has completed their Tax Free Form, they simply have to present the refund operator from a Global Blue counter with the QR code generated by the Alipay app on their smartphone. Once the refund operator has scanned the QR code and confirmed the refund amount, the shopper will receive a real-time notification to confirm the refund payment was successfully delivered to their Alipay account.  

The new product will be available exclusively through merchants affiliated with Global Blue. For Chinese travellers, Europe’s most prolific globe shoppers, this solution offers greater choice for the 70% of them who choose to claim their VAT refunds at the airport.

The new service is already up and running in Global Blue’s three refund points in Milan Malpensa, Munich and Helsinki airports and will be rolled out across Europe in the coming months.

While Global Blue and Alipay have worked together since 2014, this breakthrough marks the start of an exciting period of collaboration, as both organisations work to create a new tax refund experience powered by digitalisation.