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Lengthy tax refunds? New service promises no sweat

Chinese travellers to Singapore can now receive tax returns in Chinese Yuan with the new Alipay service (Photo Credit: ipopba/Getty Images)
Chinese travellers to Singapore can now receive tax returns in Chinese Yuan with the new Alipay service (Photo Credit: ipopba/Getty Images)

A new tax return service to ease waiting time and other bugbears has been launched for Chinese travellers visiting Singapore, who can now have their refunds deposited directly into their Alipay accounts after completing all procedures at the airport. 

Visitors need only go through four steps to process their refund at the airport, and will be able to receive their refunds in Chinese Yuan. Visitors can process their claim for all 2000 brands and merchants in Singapore under the Electronic Tourists Refund Scheme (eTRS), and apply for the Alipay refund at the central refund counter located in the departure transit lounge. 

After confirmation and acknowledgement of account details, visitors will receive a notification of the tax refund instantly in Alipay.

Short waiting times can also be expected for credit card refunds, which usually requires a lead time of up to 10 days.

The launch of the new service marks Singapore as the first country in South-east Asia to implement an Alipay tax refund scheme catering for Chinese tourists. Elsewhere, the company has rolled out the tax refund service in 20 countries worldwide, including South Korea and Germany.

The move follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Alipay and Global Tax Free (GTF) last September.