Global Blue has extended its in-store Fast Refund service to Chinese Alipay account holders.
From now on, Chinese Alipay account holders will be able to receive their VAT refund real-time in-store, directly into their Alipay account.
Chinese customers are all entitled to reclaim the 20% VAT they pay on watch purchases, which has added to the considerable price advantage enjoyed by British retailers since the Brexit vote depressed the value of the pound. This price advantage has led to a bonanza for luxury watch retailers, particularly in London and other major tourism centres in the UK.
Alipay, one of the leading mobile-based payment systems in China, is new to the UK.
It is a service created by the enormous Alibaba retail empire and is used by over half a billion customers.
It was given a boost in August 2017 when Barclays started a trial that helps retailers to accept Alipay payments.
Harrods introduced Alibaba’s Alipay digital payments system last year.
Ten of Aurum Holdings’ Watches of Switzerland stores and four Mappin & Webb showrooms accept Alipay.