CODE_n CONTEST // Meet the FinTechs: VAT refund without queuing
VAT refund for purchases made in the EU – in a simple mobile and online way. What sounds too easy to be true, is what the solution of our next CODE_n Finalist Bank4you / TaxFree4U offers. Co-founder Dan Chernavski told us more about his startup and “banking without borders”.
What is Bank4you / TaxFree4U all about? How did you come up with the idea?
Dan: TaxFree4U is the VAT Refund for purchases made in the top shopping destinations in the EU (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain). The idea to create it occurred to me, when after my European travels and shopping I decided to get a VAT refund through one of the existing Refund operators. Just for the record, I didn’t manage to get it, because my declaration was incorrectly completed. Just imagine how angry I was having wasted more than 4 hours waiting, filling in forms etc. for nothing!
Today the world is going online and uses mobile technologies in daily life to save time. Therefore, I decided to develop a mobile VAT refund service – TaxFree4U – that allows you to solve 2 major issues: correctness of completing forms and saving time.
“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?
Dan: These days whole world lives in a rush and mobility is our main advantage. Applications and online services are in trend at the present day market, and it is because of their flexibility and possibility to save time for the client. TaxFree4U is the VAT refund service that suggests the minimal involment of the customer into any paperwork, and saves him/her from waiting in queues while getting the refund.
You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Applied FinTech contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?
Dan: Innovative mobile products demand that the clients get used to them and learn how to use them. All our clients are very busy with their daily life, and as they have to deal with great amounts of information each day, they have no time for filling in any details and forms manually, not to mention for standing in queues! We developed the simplest procedure possible than any existing one on the market for getting the VAT refund. All you need to do is to complete the 4 easy steps and you will receive up to 19% from the price of your purchases.
“Banking without borders” – a great slogan and something to look forward to. Yet we know that events like the so-called Brexit and continuous EU wide regulations can make the realization of new ideas in the banking sector a lot harder. How do you deal with these circumstances?
Dan: Considering that our clients are non-EU citizens, and United Kingdom is one of the countries in which we provide the VAT refund service, soon we’ll have to revise the business-processes set in the country. Perhaps in future we’ll be able to make the VAT refund for the UK citizens.