ThamesLink Train adorned with rainbow graphics

Delay repay for Go-Ahead

Go-Ahead approached iBlocks looking for a solution that could significantly reduce the cost of processing Delay Repay claims, reduce time from claim submission to award and flag fraudulent claims.


Go-Ahead approached iBlocks looking for a solution that could significantly reduce the cost of processing Delay Repay claims, reduce time from claim submission to award and flag fraudulent claims.

iBlocks smartREPAY was ideally placed to fulfil this requirement. The service combines industry data sources including real time train data, ticket sales information and smartcard tap data to generate a comprehensive understanding of possible travel across the day. Customers submit their claims through a streamlined customer portal that requires minimal data entry. Alternatively, customers may choose to have their claims automatically calculated from smartcard tap data. All claims are verified for ticket and journey validity, and fraud detection checks are also applied. Successful claims are paid via a wide selection of payment options and customers are notified throughout the process. The majority of claims are awarded automatically with no human intervention, saving both processing costs and improving customer response times.

  • Processing costs have been more than halved since the adoption of smartREPAY, saving an estimated £1.3m per annum

  • During severe disruption, the system has been proven to cope with more than 25,000 claims per day which, prior to smartREPAY, would have quickly overwhelmed the claim processing staff

  • smartREPAY processes over 80% of all claims in an automated way

  • The majority of claims processed through smartREPAY are completed within 3 days of receipt


Processing a delay repay claim is a difficult task to perform manually. Each journey leg must be looked up to see how the trains actually ran on the day, making it a slow process for an Agent to perform (and at each interchange the number of possible journey options that the customer could take multiplies almost exponentially).

Next the Agent must look at the ticket evidence and decide if the ticket appears to be correct. This is purely a visual inspection as there is no easy way for this data to be looked up manually. After this, they must work out if the ticket can be used for travel on the journey submitted by the customer which is extremely time consuming if done properly.

Typically, Agents are asked to work at speed, so the time needed to assess a claim accurately is not available. This leaves the agent with a choice of guessing the claim outcome or processing a claim very slowly. The train operator wanted both: improving the speed of claim processing to decrease costs but at the same time to provide the most accurate assessment available.

How Our Product Helped

smartREPAY automates most of the work associated with claims from submission through to fulfilment, including the two most laborious tasks for agents: delay calculation and ticket verification.

smartREPAY automatically assesses the delay accurately by using multiple sources of industry data to get the best view of how the trains ran on the day and modelling customer behaviour against the available journey options.

smartREPAY then checks the ticket against multiple sources of ticket data to ensure the ticket is genuine, whether it is owned by the customer and also that it is valid for the journey claimed.

All calculation steps are made available to agents during and after any referral process, reducing some of the work during assessment as well as demonstrating full auditability.

Results, Return on Investment, and Future Plans

The adoption of smartREPAY significantly improved processing times through automating claims and also reduced manual handling times when a claim is handled by an agent. Consequently, most claims are now processed in less than 3 days. With such levels of automation it has also allowed the contact centre to cope with larger volumes of claims during periods of disruption – with peaks of 25,000 claims in a day. The client’s original aim of reducing costs has been realised through the deployment of smartREPAY – cutting their costs of claim processing by an estimated £1.3m per year.

As newer, smarter ticket types become available within the industry the future for smartREPAY can only get smarter with increased levels of automation and ever evolving fraud detection measures.

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