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    UnionPay Tax Refund service covers all major tax refund countries and regions
    Newly launched in 7 Belt and Road countries in the first half of 2018
    2018-07-11


    Recently, some Chinese tourists who have visited Russia found they were able to claim tax refund into their UnionPay cards when leaving Russia after shopping at the famous TSUM Department Store in Moscow. Getting the tax refund saves 10% of their spending. It is learnt that seven countries along the “One Belt, One Road”, including Russia, have started launching the UnionPay Tax Refund service since this year. UnionPay cardholders can also enjoy Early Refund service, which allowing merchants to initiate refunds at POS terminals, debit refunds direct to UnionPay cardholders’ accounts and pay refunds in cash, in 14 countries and regions. With the greater coverage and flexibility of UnionPay Tax Refund service, the service is favored by more and more outbound tourists. The tax refund volume with UnionPay cards has been growing rapidly for several years, and has grown by about 60% in the first half of this year.

    Service scope of UnionPay Tax Refund continues to expand

    In recent years, Chinese tourists are traveling to more destinations, and more tourists are visiting the Belt and Road countries. In line with this trend, UnionPay International is continuously expanding the scope of its tax refund service through cooperation with over ten tax refund agencies worldwide. This year, seven countries including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Macedonia and Serbia have newly started offering UnionPay Tax Refund service. So far, UnionPay Tax Refund service is available at over 300,000 merchants in 44 countries and regions, covering all major tax refund countries and regions.

    Meanwhile, UnionPay Tax Refund also allows greater flexibility around when and how UnionPay cardholders receive their VAT refund. In addition to the traditional airport tax refund, UnionPay International has launched Early Refund Service in cooperation with Global Blue last year. After shopping, customers can use UnionPay credit card as a guarantee, and get their VAT refund in-store or at the Global Blue outlets downtown before their purchases have been exported. This service is continuously expanding and now covers 14 countries and regions including France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Switzerland. All of the Global Blue downtown counters and over 1,000 merchants have supported the service.

    In addition, consumers in mainland China are able to claim tax refund online via the official website or WeChat account of UnionPay International after getting back to China. In this way, they only need to get their tax refund receipts stamped by the Customs.

    UnionPay offers customers better tax refund experience

    To further improve cardholder’s tax refund experience, UnionPay International continues to enhance the convenience of its tax refund service. Now cardholders can log in to the mobile website or WeChat service account of UnionPay International to calculate the tax refunds of different countries, track the refund status, find the tax refund office nearby, and check about the detailed tax refund guidelines of each country.

    Customers with UnionPay premium cards (including Platinum and Diamond cards) are offered free access to the Global Blue VIP Lanes at seven major European airports, including Copenhagen Airport, Rome Fiumicino Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Madrid Airport, and Munich Airport. Cardholders can also enjoy VIP services and claim tax refunds at Global Blue lounges in Milan and Rome.

    Next year, the “UnionPay” mobile app will launch a digital tax refund service. After shopping at specially engaged merchants, Chinese tourists will be able to print tax refund form via the “UnionPay” app, without the need to handwrite the form, and the refund will be directly credited into the designated UnionPay accounts in RMB.

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