A fuel card or fleet card is a payment card that can be used to pay for fuel such as petrol, diesel and other fuels at petrol stations. The card can be connected to either the driver or the vehicle, or both.
The cards work through a network of authorized dealers and provide details of every transaction, which gives fleet managers greater control over their spending. Fleet companies are generally billed by all drivers using a group invoice for purchases.
This eliminates the need for individual drivers to track receipts, for example for tax purposes, which reduces the administrative burden. Compared to conventional credit cards, there are often fewer fees for fuel cards, e.g. recurring fees, transaction fees, etc.
In the past ten years, the payment industry has changed thanks to technological advances such as chip and pin, contactless technology, fast internet payments and smartphone payments. So how did the fuel card industry react – and what does the future of payment methods with fuel cards look like?
We have seen a change lately, but the difficulty may be that the payment platform for fuel card suppliers must be consistent and make refueling as convenient and quick as possible, which is why traditional methods that drivers have been using for some time become, are sometimes preferred.
Unabhängig vom Geschäftsmodell – kontaktlose Karten, Smartphone, virtuelle Transaktionen – wird der digitale Zahlungsverkehr definitiv einen starken Platz in der Branche einnehmen, vorausgesetzt, dass das gleiche Serviceniveau in Bezug auf Sicherheit und Verwaltungsfreundlichkeit geboten wird.
Möglichkeiten zur Bereicherung der alltäglichen Aktivitäten der Fahrer können durch die Entwicklung von App-Zahlungen und kontaktloser Technologie noch einfacher werden. Darüber hinaus bedeuten die technologischen Entwicklungen im Bereich der Chip- und Pin-Zahlungen und der kontaktlosen Zahlungen sowie die Möglichkeit, verlorene oder gestohlene Karten zu melden, eine Verringerung der ungewöhnlichen Übergänge und hoffentlich eine erhöhte Sicherheit.
Fuel card holders are generally offered discounts on the actual fuel. Fuel cards generally allow carriers to pay the cash price at the petrol pump, which is usually a multi-cent discount on the price.
Additional discount programs can also offer discounts on the fuel price when using a fuel card. Over time, the cash price minus a negotiated discount usually adds up to significant savings compared to paying with regular credit cards.
Have you ever wondered if there is an easier way to track your vehicle’s fuel spending without drowning in additional administration? For those who don’t know, integrating telematics with fuel cards makes life easier.
While any good telematics system alerts you when a vehicle is used outside of opening hours, fuel cards go one step further. They can be assigned to a driver or vehicle and if they are fully integrated into a telematics system, every transaction is recorded. You can view transactions on a card, by a driver, or by a vehicle to be notified of any unexpected card activity.
By combining data records from fuel cards and fleet management systems, customers can gain insight into the total expenditure and the efficiency of the drivers through the use of intelligent reporting tools. Fleet managers can, for example, get a more complete overview of their fleets‘ activities by combining vehicle position data and tank data.
The integrated reporting functionality can be used, for example, to identify potential fuel card misuse or misuse. Customers can track fuel card usage and automatically find suspicious card transactions using intelligent algorithms that minimize fuel card fraud.
Exception reports can be triggered, for example, if a fuel card transaction at a certain petrol station is not compared with the GPS position data from the fleet management system at the time of the transaction. Fuel slip reports can also be used to identify events where the fuel card has been used and where more gas has been pumped than the vehicle tank can hold.
One advantage of fuel cards is that they offer drivers a stress-free payment option. Fuel cards are a better payment option than credit cards because they replace the time-consuming (and somewhat annoying) saving of receipts.
Every transaction is visible through our software and you can add strict purchase options, including oil, tolls and shop goods, to make business purchases traceable. In addition to minimizing the risk of fraud by checking fuel purchases based on location and vehicle data, it is also possible to Make it easier to manage compliance by avoiding manual reporting procedures.
Additional advantages of fuel card integration include the fact that fleet customers can access all relevant company information in the same application, instead of using separate interfaces for fuel card and telematics data.
Fuel cards give you more control over where the drivers refuel. Instead of refueling at high-priced dealers, drivers know exactly which petrol station they can use. Fuel cards are offered for two main payment options: fixed weekly rate or pump-related price. At the fixed rate, you know the price of fuel for the week in advance, which makes planning and controlling fuel expenditure considerably easier. The fuel price cards offer greater coverage with more freedom, which makes the search for convenient petrol stations quick and easy.
Having a degree of control over where and when the staff refuel is a key benefit of a fuel card. Many vendors allow organizations to set usage restrictions, for example to persuade drivers to use cheaper fuel in supermarkets rather than on more expensive motorways.
The integration of your fuel cards with the telematics means that you receive accurate mileage reports for each vehicle. With this recorded data, you can easily identify any inefficiencies or identify drivers who may need additional training.
On July 20, 2016, the European Commission published its strategy for low-emission mobility. It contains detailed plans to accelerate the introduction of low-emission alternative energy for transport, such as electricity, hydrogen, modern biofuels and renewable synthetic fuels, and to remove obstacles to the introduction of electric vehicles. She also outlined plans for Europe to accelerate the transition to low-emission and zero-emission vehicles.
In addition, in December 2015, the UK, as one of 13 international members of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance, signed a commitment to reduce traffic emissions, including an agreement to make all passenger cars zero-emission vehicles by 2050.
Given the government’s increasing pressure on companies to reduce CO2 emissions, it is vital to keep track of your company’s carbon footprint. Greater visibility into fuel consumption with our simplified (but detailed) reports enables companies to set proactive reduction targets. Working on a more environmentally friendly fleet not only helps the environment, it also increases fuel efficiency.
Remember that by using telematics you can keep control and prevent speeding and heavy braking. They can also help redirect drivers on cheaper routes. Frankly, we’ve now reached a point in vehicle management history where it has never been so easy to control costs.
Because fuel is an expensive part of fleet operations, organizations need to be able to monitor and control the fuel that staff use. But collecting receipts and expense forms and paying back with postage can be a time-consuming administrative problem. There is also a risk that drivers will round up the kilometers driven or refill the fuel for personal use.
With a fuel card, a driver can transfer the fuel costs directly to an account paid by the employer. The registration number and the mileage are recorded at the time of the transaction, and the invoice provides information about where, when and at what time fuel was bought, as well as the type of fuel and its price. This reduces administrative overhead and the billing data gives a good snapshot of a fleet’s fuel consumption.
Online service is almost a matter of course these days and the only place where everything related to the fuel card account can be found. This helps you keep control of your fuel management.
To get a better insight into the performance of a fleet, many fuel card providers will be able to create management reports.
In addition to the basic data on fuel consumption, some fuel card providers can now also provide tailored information for the generation of specific reports that a fleet manager needs.
From the point of view of fleet management, telematics is becoming increasingly important, from the mere recording of the basics, such as fuel consumption, to in-depth analyzes. Telematics has given greater insight into fleet operations and has thus contributed to increasing efficiency and reducing costs. The potential benefits of an effective system are numerous.
The combination of fuel cards with telematics is seamless. You get instant access to the vehicle and drivers in real time, regardless of the size of your fleet or the needs of your company. You also get additional benefits such as improved driver qualifications, reduced insurance and a possible reduction in accidents. This is because you are monitoring locations, status, and behavior. You not only manage your fuel costs and your fleet, but also take responsibility for supporting your drivers and their journeys.
With the growth of technology, many suppliers of fuel cards have made it possible to integrate their products with telematics, which can access data on vehicle position, mileage and driving style in real time. This 24/7 visibility of a fleet’s performance means that employers can identify areas where a fleet is inefficient, down to individual vehicles and drivers. You can then take corrective measures such as driver training, better route planning or more efficient vehicles.
The integration of telematics alongside the fuel cards not only helps to reduce fuel costs, but also enables improved vehicle efficiency, as it ensures that the vehicles in the fleet take the most direct route between workplaces, as the location of the vehicles is tracked in real time can. It can also contribute to improved driver behavior, since the telematics can report bad driving styles – speed, braking, strong acceleration and idling times. The precise mileage and location of a fleet vehicle helps detect fraud by reducing unauthorized vehicle use.
By monitoring locations, status, and behavior, you can improve driver skills, reduce insurance coverage, and potentially reduce accidents. Therefore, you not only manage your fuel costs and your fleet, but you also take responsibility for supporting your drivers and their journeys.