Overseas shopping is now one of the main sources of entertainment, as well as a big task for Chinese travelers. The tax return generated by such shopping carnival is huge. However, getting the tax return from the Custom means going through excruciating paperwork, which could be really time-consuming. Besides, it is inconvenient for customers to collect their refunds. Thus, many travelers simply choose to give up their tax refund.
According to the official data, Chinese travelers spent more than 20 billion RMB in Europe in 2014, but nearly one third of Chinese travelers didn’t apply for their tax return. The uncollected tax return in European Union amounted to 1 billion RMB.
Given such situation, many tax refund agencies sprang up, but their services are not efficient enough. Companies have been trying to change the status quo by utilizing online platforms, such as WeChat.
Last September, WeChat put forward a new public account called Rebate Pass, which is supported by Tenpay and TransForex, and managed by Tenpay. An Employee from Tencent told TMTpost that the Reabte Pass was kept low-key, because Tenpay group focused more on product beta-testing and optimization before officially launching the service in May this year.
Scanning the QR code via WeChat makes tax return easy:
When a customer comes back to China with his tax refund form, he only has to do four things. After scanning his passport through WeChat, filling in personal information on the refund page, taking a picture of the refund form and sending it to the Rebate Pass, the application is under scrutiny. Then he could wait for the postman from S.F. Express to collect the refund form. If things go right, the money will be put into his personal WeChat Wallet in 3 to 5 working days.
Such service can spare overseas customers from queuing in the line and filling in different forms. Besides, the refund is paid in RMB, and users do not have to pay for the express fee. So far, Rebate Pass service has covered more than 30 countries, including South Korea and many European countries.
In the past, Chinese customers have to bring their E-tickets, passports, refund forms and goods to get their tax return. The return is paid either in cash or transferred to their credit cards. However, both methods have problems: if a customer chooses to get the refund in cash, the Custom will charge him with the commission fee. In terms of credit card, the procedure can take a longer time. Moreover, many department stores in China do not accept a US dollar account, making it difficult for customers to spend the tax return.
So, compared to traditional method, Rebate Pass service is indeed more customer-friendly.
Besides WeChat, Alipay and Rebate Treasure provide similar refund services. However, while Alipay only accept users with global blue refund form, Rebate Treasurer, supported by Master and TransForex, still require users to get the stamps from the Custom.
The advantage of WeChat and Tenpay makes Rebate Pass more powerful than other refund services. It will definitely make a difference in people’s daily life.
（The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Wang Xuan, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.）
Translated by Jackie Jia (Senior translator at Echo),working for TMTpost.com