Chinese travellers using MasterCard's credit and debit cards will now be able to enjoy a hassle free tax refund service with the payment provider's new platform.
According to MasterCard, Chinese travellers leave as much as €3 billion (US$3.86 billion) worth of tax refund unclaimed annually due to language barriers and tedious procedures. The new platform, which is developed together with HNA Transforex Currency Exchange Company Limited (Transforex), thus aims to simplify the tax refund process to help Chinese travellers reduce their financial losses.
With this new platform, travellers only need to stamp their tax refund forms upon departure before heading home with the goods directly. SF Express, a shipping provider in China, will then collect the tax refund forms from travellers' homes to courier it to the platform. Within three days at the earliest after the forms are validated, the tax refund will be credited to the cardholder's account. This service is free of charge and travellers can track and check the status of their tax refund during the whole process, said MasterCard in a press statement.
The platform will also offer special privileges to MasterCard holders. For instance, cardholders will be credited a bonus which is equivalent to one percent of the tax refund payment they have received. Besides that, the payment provider will launch a "Surprise 100" campaign in mid-October, in line with China's National Day Holiday. For 100 days, MasterCard will be awarding US$500 to a randomly selected cardholder every day.
"This platform will make overseas travel and shopping even more priceless to MasterCard cardholders as it adds a seamless and rewarding tax-refund solution on the already global interoperable and secured payment experience," said Dennis Chang, MasterCard's head of China.
The platform will be supporting seven tax refund groups worldwide. They include Global Blue, Innova Taxfree, Premier Tax Free, Tax Free Worldwide, N. Tax Free S.p.A, Global Taxfree, and Travel Tax Free S.L.U. The refund volume of these companies is said to account for more than 90 percent of the world's travel tax refund market as they cover more than 50 key markets and around 420,000 merchants in Europe and Asia.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.