The very much overrated Valentine’s day came and went; and as always, the prices of flowers and chocolates and other gift essentials skyrocketed! Thanks to Tax-Free shopping, for tourists, it is still worth the travel and gift buying.
PLANET, among others, also provides tax free services to European tourist shoppers. Planet is the second largest tax-free service provider in Europe. I am proud to be a part of the Planet family since May 2013 and happy to say that we are continuously working to better improve our services.
Recently, we launched “Instant Alipay” –Yes!!! We jumped into the bandwagon of the Digital wallet era!
February 14 is a special day – because it is St. Valentine’s day or Heart’s day as celebrated globally.
At the Planet Tax refund Desk in Frankfurt Airport, we also had a very meaningful Feb. 14, 2019. We reached another milestone, as we launched in our options of refund payment method … the innovation that most – if not all Chinese consumers prefer – the Instant Alipay.
I have been eagerly waiting for this… looking forward to the time when I could finally offer to the guest the real-time tax back method. Using the very popular (at most to the Chinese) a non-cash/digital Tax refund payment method: INSTANT ALIPAY.
How it works:
After the guest has done Customs declaration and getting the Customs Seal on their Tax-free forms, they can then proceed to the tax refund Operators’ counters.
To process or complete a refund, an ocular inspection of the tax refund voucher must be implemented. The Physical voucher is checked from top to bottom, purchase details are compared with the invoice presented and customer details written on the voucher are compared to the passport presented. If all requirements are met, then we proceed with the processing of the refund transaction. For the payment method, our guests have several options. Depending on their preference, they can choose if they want to have the refund in cash, per credit card money transfer or for the Chinese customers more especially, we have the Alipay refund method.
- Scan the Alipay Barcode
The first customer was hesitant saying I was not doing it right. I do not use a QR code scanner at the counter. I use instead of, the Barcode reader.
For the Chinese guests, they think if we use the Barcode, it would mean we are getting money from their account and not paying into their account. I explained, with my very few Chinese vocabularies and with “hand gestures” that it was correct to use the barcode for them to get their money.
- Get Notification from the Alipay App
Finally, just after a few seconds, the very much awaited “bling” from the customers’ ALIPAY phone App was heard. To this, the reward came… I got a very bright and happy smile from the customer. The best part was that, after he got his money thru Instant Alipay, he turned to the next customers in the queue, a young couple and proudly suggested to them to do the same. Right at that very moment—Instant Alipay payment method started rolling. Best marketing strategy: Positive words of mouth passed on from customer to fellow customers.
- Hand out the token/gift from Alipay and the printed customer receipt
Of course, the small gift that was distributed after a successful Instant Alipay transaction went through, also made it exciting for the customers. This filled my heart with more joy, as one can truly see the appreciation of the customers.
We at the Planet Refund Desk Frankfurt Airport always go the extra mile to help the customers. So, we are very happy and proud to see our customers leaving the counter with a satisfied look. They leave our counter with a very good impression of doing a Tax refund business with us. I am quite positive that each and every person leaving us with a smile will definitely pass on their positive experience doing tax refunding to their family members, relatives, friends and colleagues who will eventually be our future Tax refund customers as well.
It seems that we will have a promising turnover of IA payment.
Thanks to our IT experts and the people who worked hard to make this successful change happen.
I am proud and happy to be a part of the Planet Family!!!