In fact, with traditional methods, the company would have needed around 50-60 more people to develop and run the whole operation. With OutSystems, the team consists of just 16 individuals, which allowed Planet to focus more time on implementation and adding value throughout the entire user experience, rather than hard and complex coding.
Flexibility aside, the OutSystems platform had another quality that was essential to the project: reliability. "When you decide to go fully digital, you don't have any paper to fall back on if things fail," says Gary. "We had to know that the platform we were building this on would deliver enterprise grade resilience, and thanks to our previous experience with OutSystems, we knew this was the case."
For UAE, the new Tax Free shopping solution has provided a transformative experience for customers and merchants alike, which allows it to remain a leading destination for international retail. Shoppers can now be issued with transaction requirements in-store within 15 seconds, and be export-validated in under a minute, representing a time reduction of up to 80 percent. The process of claiming VAT back has also been dramatically reduced, from around 30 minutes to just two, a saving of 93 percent that has seen a 30 percent increase in claim completion rates.
"If customers can claim tax back without any barriers, then they are happier to spend more money, often choosing to spend their refunded tax as soon as they receive it," says Gary. "That can really boost the UAE's economy when you consider the millions of tourists who visit or travel through the country."
Ultimately, Planet has used OutSystems to build the most advanced and efficient Tax Free system in the world, with automation, mobile, and self-service capabilities replacing the time-consuming, manual, paper-based processes that would otherwise be necessary.
The project was so successful that Planet has now used the OutSystems platform to implement similar solutions in Turkey, Bahrain, and Finland, and will continue to use it as its go-to platform when exploring new markets and opportunities.