Delayed ScotRail passengers would receive refunds if their trains are as little as 15 minutes late compared to the current 30-minute threshold under plans to follow the lead of new train franchises in England.
Travellers could also get their money back automatically without the need to claim, as is already offered on Virgin Trains’ west coast main line services.
UK rail minister Claire Perry said last week she looked forward to reducing the threshold, although no date has been set.
The Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency said it would be considered around 2020 - half way through the current ScotRail franchise.
Its spokesman said the greater use of smartcards “may include revisiting delay repay threshold timings in the future and processes to automatically refund affected passengers”.
A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “We currently operate a simple delay repay scheme, which helps customers claim compensation if their journey is disrupted.
“Through our franchise commitments with Transport Scotland, we always work to ensure we deliver the best possible service, and will always welcome new processes which may benefit our customers.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Trains has updated the way it publishes punctuality figures so services are only classed as on time if they reach their destination within one minute of schedule.
The operator has switched to the “on time” measure after previously classing its long-distance trains as late if they arrived more than ten minutes behind schedule.
This applies to both its cross-Border East and West Coast main line services.
Some 58 per cent of Virgin’s East Coast trains and 56 per cent on the West Coast arrived “on time” from 6-31 March.
ScotRail said it displayed “on time” figures at stations where trains terminated.
However, this information is less prominent on its website than figures for services arriving within five minutes of schedule.