UK: A software package designed to make it easier for passengers to claim refunds for delayed journeys has been developed by ESP Group’s Journeycall business and Barclays.

Passengers enter details of their ticket and delayed train into a website or app, and DelayCheck verifies this and then processes the refund in the passenger’s preferred format. DelayCheck can process journeys involving more than one operator, automatically identifying the correct company and applying the appropriate policies.

Journeycall Managing Director Theresa Wishart told Railway Gazette that the company has used its experience of the rail industry to identify the ‘pain points’ for passengers claiming refunds using existing systems. ‘Using all of that data and our knowledge of the customer we have developed a system that not only delivers the customer’s needs but also drives organisational efficiencies whilst reducing operating costs’, she said. It is anticipated that DelayCheck will reduce processing times by 70%, while being flexible, scaleable and improving fraud detection.

More than 30 representatives from the rail industry attended the launch of DelayCheck in early August, and discussions are underway with train operating companies. The first deployments are expected to be live ready for the anticipated roll-out of new government regulations on delay refunds on October 1. DelayCheck is available as a fully-managed service or can be purchased separately.

‘The existing system available to TOCs and Journeycall was simply inadequate and unlikely to be able to cope with an anticipated increase in compensation requests that will happen when the government makes an announcement which will likely require TOCs to refund passengers in the format the original ticket purchase was made, such as by cash, BACS, PayM, Pingit, PayPal or payment back to smartcard’, said Wishart. ‘We have developed a system, unique to Journeycall, which will facilitate this process and take the pain away from train operating companies’.