There is a quiet and yet significant transformation taking place in the world of Tax Free shopping. Soon, visitors to Tax Free shopping nations will enjoy the benefits of fast, digital processing of their Tax refund vouchers. As well as reducing the tourist’s burden and mitigating VAT fraud, these digitisation projects are expected to lead to further increases in inbound international shoppers, greater spend with merchants and other economic benefits, such as the creation of additional employment.
The self-service approach to Tax Free shopping
There are multiple projects well underway in European countries that will transform the speed and efficiency of claiming and processing Tax Free refunds.
In particular, there are three European digitisation projects that enable international shoppers to validate, approve and send for processing their Tax Free refund vouchers:
In France, the PABLO system enables visitors to the country to approve their Tax Free refund vouchers via dedicated refund kiosks in locations, such as airport terminals, such as Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly.
In Italy, the OTELLO system was launched in 2015. The Online Tax Refund at Exit: Light Lane Optimisation (OTELLO) system permits travellers to have their Tax refund forms validated and refunded without the need for queuing or delays.
Meanwhile in Spain, the Digital VAT Validation System (DIVA) enables international shoppers to speed up the process of Tax Free voucher validation and stamping, which eliminates queuing, delays and plays a major role in the reduction of VAT-related fraud.
Playing a leading role in the digital Tax Free shopping revolution
Here at Premier Tax Free, we are playing a major part in the rolling digital Tax Free shopping revolution. We are actively helping to simplify and expedite the processing of tax refunds for international travellers.
Last year, we marked the piloting and launch of our next generation mobile app. The latest Premier Tax Free app Premier Pass fully embraces Apple and Google mobile wallet technology and is the first application to enable international shoppers to record vital travel information alongside the full details of their Tax Free shopping expenditures.
The momentum for digital is building
Premier Tax Free will continue to be at the forefront of digital Tax Free shopping developments. We are helping to work with and advise governments on best practice and we are building innovative technologies that deliver an enhanced experience for international shoppers along with valuable business insights to our merchants.
For more information on our Tax free shopping solutions, visit the solutions page