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We have not received a qualifying Tax Free form for your VAT refund, and as a result we will / have debited your account according to the Terms and Conditions that you signed when receiving the refund in cash. 

 

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Your Tax Free form has been received successfully and we're processing your refund. If you selected one of the following refund methods, please allow 30 days to receive your refund:

 

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We have received your Tax Free form and the refunding process is now complete.

 

Your refund amount was deducted from the original purchase amount at the time of purchase in the store.

 

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The new ways to pay that are here to stay

The new ways to pay that are here to stay


August 2021


Fewer people using cash and governments urging people to stay safe during the pandemic has driven an increase in the use of contactless payments

I was chatting to a friend the other day and he told me about a slightly embarrassing moment he recently had in a supermarket. He’d bought a few things that came to just over the contactless limit when he suddenly realised, he couldn't remember the card's PIN because he hadn’t used it for ages. Luckily, the store assistant was happy to put a couple of items through separately to bring him under the limit and he did two quick contactless payments.

 

With fewer people using cash during the pandemic and governments urging people to stay safe, this has helped drive a 30% increase in the use of contactless payments since March 2020[1]. With maximum amounts now much higher too, this is a trend that is bound to increase.

 

It dawned on me how quickly things are changing in the world of payments. It seems like only yesterday Chip and PIN was the new kid on the block but now it's been superseded by other novel ways to pay[2].

 

This got me thinking about some of the payment trends we’re seeing right now. Here are my thoughts.

 

Got your phone, got your wallet

 

Had my friend set up a digital wallet on his phone, he could have saved himself his supermarket blushes.

 

Most of us never go anywhere without our smartphones these days.

 

Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay, Alipay and WeChat Pay are increasingly popular across all generations[3]; not just millennials and Gen Z. It reflects the move towards cashless payment methods we've seen during the pandemic.   

 

For retailers, being able to accept digital wallets is a must these days and if you use modern android terminals it means you can be as mobile as your shoppers. Customers will love the fact they don’t have to queue at a central till if an assistant can come to them for a slick, secure, contactless payment.

What's the time? Wearables time

 

In the same way that smartphones are becoming the convenient and secure way to make payments, wearables like watches and fitness trackers are increasingly being used to. They're another popular way to carry your digital wallet around.

 

Wearables go hand-in-hand with smartphones for making payments through digital wallets, taking advantage of the same NFC technology to power these contactless payments.

 

They also have the added advantage of being easy to access, no more rummaging around in pockets or bags to find the phone when your method of payment is on your wrist.

 

Immediate VAT refunds increase spending

 

In the same way that payments are going digital, Tax Free shopping is too. This offers a fast, safe and fully paperless service that enhances the customer experience.

 

Customers can receive immediate refunds to their cards or digital wallets, including Mastercard, Visa, Union Pay, American Express, Alipay and WeChat Pay.

 

Seeing the money appear immediately in their digital wallet or on their card makes them more likely to spend the refund when they are there in-store.

 

Making a payment with your face

 

Tax Free shopping is all about the in-store experience. As European retailers get ready to welcome back international shoppers to their stores - including high spending Chinese - technological innovation is powering new ways to pay.

 

We're quickly getting used to unlocking our phones with face ID and even making payments through digital wallets using facial recognition, so it's not a great leap to imagine paying in-store with our faces. It's already here in China's big cities and let's be honest, what’s more convenient than paying with something that even the most absent-minded person will struggle to leave at home?

 

New technology is driving other ways to pay too. You could soon be paying for anything and everything with a wave of your hand, a fingerprint or a scan of your eye. Biometric payments were once science fiction but are quickly becoming a science fact.

 

The opportunities for retailers are endless and with the world of payments changing very rapidly it can be hard to keep up. I wonder if in a couple of years, we’ll be looking back at contactless payments with a card in the same light as we're now looking at Chip and PIN.

 

Reflecting on my friend's experience at the supermarket got me thinking. It won't be long at all before my friend is able to look at a facial scanner to make a payment at his local supermarket. He won't even need his smartphone for that, let alone his wallet.

 

Sources
[1] FinTech Times
[2] Payments Dive 
[3] The Paypers
[4] CEO Magazine

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