Alipay, the mobile payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has partnered with Global Tax Free (“GTF”), a tax refund agency, to launch a paperless mobile tax refund function in South Korea.
Alipay has consistently been at the forefront of innovation that supports mobile tax refund solutions globally. In early 2017, Alipay initiated a real-time tax refund service in Europe which enabled users to instantly receive tax rebates in their Alipay accounts after scanning their Alipay QR code at airport tax counters.
The newly introduced tax refund service in South Korea further simplifies the process by enabling Chinese tourists to apply for and claim tax rebates on their mobile phone app, skipping in-city and airport tax refund counters altogether. After scanning their passports at self-service kiosks prior to leaving South Korea, Chinese tourists can process tax rebates and immediately receive RMB refunds by using the Alipay mobile app to scan tax refund receipts within 90 days of purchasing.
“Since 2013, Alipay has continuously explored ways to expedite tax refunds for Chinese tourists to enhance the outbound travel experience. Alipay users can already receive tax refunds at more than 80 airports and a growing number of in-city shops globally after processing at a tax counter,” said Danny Chung, General Manager of Alipay Korea.
“With this unique new function, Alipay users can skip the queue and process tax refunds on their mobiles, without filling out and submitting any paper work. This will both save time and make it easier to claim refunds. We look forward to working with our partners and leveraging our technological capabilities to bring more convenient tax refund solutions to outbound Alipay users,” added Mr Chung.
South Korea is the world’s most convenient destination for tourists to claim tax refunds and approximately 10,000 merchants in South Korea support the GTF tax refund service. The introduction of the mobile service will expedite the tax refund process in South Korea. Alipay and GTF have plans to expand the tax refund service to more merchants and other countries in Asia in the future.
In January 2018, Alipay, along with Global Tax Free announced that Chinese travelers visiting Singapore could have tax refunds deposited directly into their Alipay accounts after completing all procedures at the airport. Singapore was the first country in Southeast Asia to offer this service to Chinese tourists.