MasterCard partners Transforex to launch China's largest tax-refund platform

Source: MasterCard

Today, MasterCard launched China's largest tax refund platform with HNA Transforex Currency Exchange Company Limited ("Transforex") in Shanghai.

The platform brings together seven tax refund groups worldwide, to address long-existing tax-refund claiming hassles including language barriers, long queues at the refund offices and overly complicated procedures. The ground-breaking partnership is uniquely structured to provide smart, simple tax refund solutions to Chinese travelers not before, but after they return from overseas trips. MasterCard cardholders will enjoy exclusive offers, including an additional 1% remission for each deal and a US$500 cash prize for 100 lucky draw winners. Ann Cairns, President, International Markets of MasterCard attended the press conference.  

The partnership with seven tax groups, including Global Blue, Innova Taxfree, Premier Tax Free, Tax Free Worldwide, N. Tax Free S.p.A., Global TaxFree and Travel Tax Free S.L.U. covers more than 50 key markets and around 420,000 merchants in Europe and Asia. The refund volume of participating groups accounts for more than 90% of the world’s travel tax refund market.

While more Chinese travel overseas every year, they leave as much as 3 billion Euros worth of tax refund unclaimed because of language barriers or tedious procedures. The MasterCard-Transforex tax refund platform will make tax refund much easier for Chinese travelers and reduce their financial losses. In addition, it will bring special privileges to MasterCard cardholders.


Key benefits of this tax refund platform include:

  • Shop overseas, claim in China. Travelers only need to stamp their tax refund forms upon departure and then they can head back home with the goods directly. They don’t have to wait in long queues at the airport to submit the forms and complete tax refund procedures.
  • Doing it from home.  After travelers arrive in China, SF Express, a leading shipping provider in the country, will collect their tax refund forms from their homes and courier them to the platform. Travelers won’t have to bring or mail the forms to any offline offices in person, which is efficient and safe as it also reduces the risk that items might get lost during long distance mailing.
  • Double offers for MasterCard cardholders.

a)         Cardholders will enjoy a bonus from MasterCard, which is equivalent to 1% of the tax refund payment they’ve received and will be transferred directly to their MasterCard accounts.

b)         As many Chinese are planning their “golden week” trips during China’s National Day Holiday next month, MasterCard will kick off a “Surprise 100” campaign in mid-October, which will award US$500 to one cardholder every day, for 100 days. The winners will be selected from a lucky draw process and the bonus will be transferred to their traveler’s checks issued by Transforex.

  • Payment within 3 days. The tax refund will be paid to cardholders’ MasterCard accounts within 3 days at the earliest after the forms are validated. Travelers can track and check the status during the whole process. Traditionally, this would take 15 to 40 working days or travelers will be asked to pay service charges when they claim at airports.
  • 0 service charge. Travelers can enjoy the service without any additional charges.

Dennis Chang, MasterCard’s Head of China, noted that China has become the world’s largest overseas travel market and the platform comes in time of rising demands for travel tax refund, which provides simple, smart and safe tax refund solutions for cardholders:

“MasterCard aims to provide the best payment products and services for Chinese cardholders when they travel around the world. The partnership with Transforex will make overseas travel and shopping of a MasterCard cardholder even more priceless, as it adds a seamless and rewarding tax-refund solution on the already global interoperable and secured payment experience created by MasterCard.”

Jiangtao Liu, Chairman of Transforex, said that the partnership is an opportunity to meet market demands with tailored services to Chinese travelers:

“Although China’s tourism industry is growing rapidly, we are still at an early stage regarding overseas travel tax refund. As a key part of Hainan Airlines’ travel offerings, Transforex is dedicated to satisfying consumer needs, and educate them about travel tax refund and providing a comprehensive set of solutions so they can claim what they are entitled to. The partnership with MasterCard will broaden and enrich our offerings to benefit more Chinese consumers.”

If they register for the MasterCard Traveler Rewards program, cardholders will enjoy a further 5% reward if they purchase from one of MasterCard’s exclusive merchants. The program now covers 1,000 merchants with over 300 prestigious international brands. When they visit MasterCard’s Priceless Cities around the world, cardholders will have priceless experiences with special access to MasterCard’s hand-picked restaurants, shops, entertainment, sporting events and much more.

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