Have you ever jumped into a cab after your last meeting and hurried to the train station only to find out that the train is over an hour late or even cancelled? Unfortunately, this happens frequently.

According to European regulation, if a train arrives at its destination with a delay of 60 minutes or more, passengers are entitled to compensation. In this case, business travelers would either file a claim themselves or forward details via e-mail or phone to their corporate travel management to receive compensation.

Eligible Payouts “Sit Idle on the Tracks”

Many companies don’t file a claim at all because the correspondence with the train provider would cause higher internal costs than the compensation returns, especially because communication after submitting a claim is only possible by paper mail. This also applies to an online claim form that a major German rail provider has been offering since June 2021. Many companies shy away from this cumbersome, manual process that oftentimes involves multiple employees. As a result, most reimbursement claims are not even submitted.

Looking at statistics from startup refundrebel, there are almost no claims coming in anymore 60 days after a train delay happens. As a result, more than 89% of eligible payouts – up to 11% of annual rail expenditures – “sit idle on the tracks” until they expire after 365 days due to European regulations.

File for Claims Faster Than Booking a Ticket

Stefan Nitz, founder and CEO of refundrebel, traveled across Germany by train for 10 years during his time as an IT consultant. During this time, he waited for delayed trains many times and refused to accept that such a simple task as compensation payments had to be so cumbersome for individuals and companies. His goal was to create a compensation solution that would make it easier and faster to file a claim. The idea of refundrebel was born.

Startups like refundrebel are important partners for SAP as they expand its portfolio and provide customers with additional innovation to increase the value of their investments in SAP solutions. Four years after its inception, refundrebel is now integrated with Concur Travel and offers customers an automated solution that can cover filing a claim, corresponding with the rail provider, and reimbursing payment in the event of train delays and cancellations.

How It Works

Once customers activate refundrebel on the SAP Concur App Center site, Concur Travel sends train booking details to the application while meeting GDPR guidelines. The startup’s unique delay database identifies eligible compensation due to cancelations or delays free of charge, without requiring written confirmation of the delay from a train conductor. Flex tickets from Deutsche Bahn, which are valid for the entire day of travel without being issued for a specific train, or cross-border train rides can also be submitted. If eligible, refundrebel will claim compensation up to 365 days retroactively, and each claim will be paid one month after acceptance by the railroad company.

Flexible payout models are available, such as to cost centers, to travelers, or split. In addition, monthly payouts include a report showing a breakdown of each claim for corporate accounting purposes. According to refundrebel, a growing number of companies are using their paid-out compensations to offset carbon dioxide emissions or donate to charity.

Be One Step Ahead

With the automated integration between Concur Travel and refundrebel, compensation claims can no longer get lost and companies can avoid cumbersome, manual processes. As a specialized add-on service for Concur Travel customers, refundrebel works in addition to a customer’s travel management company, online booking engine, or travel agency without extra costs.

Learn more about refundrebel on the SAP Concur App Center site.

Silke Jakobi is a sustainability innovation expert at SAP.