Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform, announced on August 20 that it has partnered with Global Tax Free (GTF), a tax refund agency, to launch the world’s first paperless mobile tax refund function in South Korea.
The newly introduced tax refund service enables 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 use the Alipay mobile app to scan eligible tax refund receipts within 90 days of purchasing and receive RMB refunds immediately.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay has been exploring ways to simplify tax refund over the past few years. 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.
“Alipay users can 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.
“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 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. Alipay and GTF have plans to expand the tax refund service to more merchants and other countries in Asia in the future.