Refundit revolutionizes VAT refunds for tourists by providing a mobile solution and full digitization of the process, saving tourists time and money.
Refundit, a startup which revolutionizes the field of tax-free shopping, is the winner of the first prize in the global travel-tech competition, held for the first time by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and Globalia in Fitur international tourism exhibition in Madrid. A total of 2,771 companies from 132 countries submitted their candidacy for the competition, which aimed to expose the start-ups that bring the best and most innovative tourism solutions that will change the global tourism industry.
Refundit revolutionizes VAT refunds for tourists by providing a mobile solution and full digitization of the process, saving tourists time and money. Refundit’s solution is aimed to fix an inefficient market in which 90% of refund – some 23-billion-euro – entitled to Non-EU tourists, is not returned to its owners, every year. Refundit provides its services to Non-EU tourists in Belgium, and soon in Slovakia and other European countries. Founders of the company are Uri Levine, Waze co-founder and serial entrepreneur, and Ziv Tirosh, co-founder of Stockton.
More than 50 countries in the world allow tourists to get VAT refunds for purchases of products they take when they leave. In Europe, VAT on clothing, electronics, toys, etc. range between 17% to 27%. The problem is that to get a VAT refund, tourists must go through a labored process which can include: standing in long lines, navigating complex forms, and, in the end, not always getting their money back due to a lack of a traceable paper trail.
The innovation Refundit brings is a completely digitized VAT refund service. With Refundit, there is no longer a need to complete forms at the store or stand in line at the airport. Also, the retailers do not need to do anything as part of the refund process. Refundit’s solution empowers the tourist, the retailer and the country’s economy, by making tourists’ shopping more enjoyable and appealing. Refundit’s digitized solution also allows tax authorities to provide refund approvals online and enables them to integrate innovative elements such as Big Data, advanced analytics, AI capabilities and fraud prevention into the VAT refund process.
How does Refundit App work? The process is simple, short and user friendly. Non-EU tourists scan their invoices and digitally apply for their VAT refund with the Refundit App. Tax authorities send a digital approval. Only under special circumstances is the tourist requested to visit the customs counter at the airport.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.