Alipay+ expands its digital services to the UAE. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: China’s Alipay+ is expanding the scope of its digital services by allowing the use of its cross-border payment platform in UAE transport and to also avail tax refunds.

In a bid to allow more Chinese visitors to travel by taxis across the UAE, the e-service provider said it signed new deals with transportation and government bodies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In addition, Chinese visitors travelling to the UAE can now receive their tax refunds instantly at airports.

“These digital services rolled out in the UAE’s major destinations comes ahead of a traditional peak travel season for the upcoming Chinese New Year, as the region emerges to become one of the most sought-out holiday destinations among Chinese visitors,” Alipay+ said in a statement.

Multiple partnerships

“To enable this partnership, Alipay+ has collaborated with local partners in the UAE including Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Network International in Dubai and Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), Payby and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) in Abu Dhabi.”

In Abu Dhabi, travellers can scan the QR code on the POS terminal with around 6,000 Abu Dhabi taxis while in Dubai, they can scan the QR code on the taxi meter with around 11,000 Dubai taxis with their preferred e-wallet, the payment platform added.

“By integrating Alipay+ payment technology across taxis operating under the UAE's ITC, travellers from The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, South Korea, Mongolia and Italy can now pay for fares using their preferred e-wallets, conveniently and securely,” said Integrated Transport Centre (ITC).

What e-wallets are now accepted through Alipay+?
1. Alipay (China)
2. AlipayHK (Hong Kong)
3. MPay (China)
4. Kakao Pay, Naver Pay and Toss Pay (South Korea)
5. OCBC (Singapore)
6. Touch&Go (Malaysia)
7. GCash (The Philippines)
8. TrueMoney (Thailand)
9. Tinaba (Italy)

Tax refunds with Alipay+

An instant tax refund service is accessible now for Chinese visitors at UAE airports through a partnership between Alipay and the global tax refund agency, Planet Tax Free. Upon arrival of the airports’ custom counter, Chinese visitors are now able to receive their tax refund instantly through the Alipay tax refund mini-program.

So customers shopping at destinations such as Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Galerie Lafayette, and Harvey Nichols can reclaim their tax refund when exiting the border by scanning the QR code displayed at the airport counter and presenting their Alipay code to the staff.

“Starting with Alipay users, we hope to ensure a more convenient and efficient tax refund service for international visitors and we are looking forward to expanding such convenience to users of more Alipay+ e-wallets and bank partners from all over the world,” said Guoming Cheng, general manager of Ant Group in Europe and Middle East.