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Alipay to roll out tax refund service in Singapore for Chinese tourists

Alipay, the mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, along with Global Tax Free will now have tax refunds for Chinese travelers visiting Singapore that will be 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.

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).

“The new tax refund service is a natural extension of our offering as a smart lifestyle platform for consumers and Chinese travelers. 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 travelers,” said Cherry Huang, General Manager, Cross-border Business for South and Southeast Asia, Alipay.

“By working closely with Alipay to provide Chinese travelers 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.

Through Alipay, Chinese shoppers can now get their refunds in Chinese Yuan credited into their Alipay accounts immediately after completing the necessary procedures at the airport.

China is one of Singapore’s key markets for tourism. Based on statistics published by the Singapore Tourism Board, 2.86 million Chinese travelers that visited the nation in 2016 accounted for SGD 3.5 billion in Tourism Receipts, of which 43 per cent 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.