To keep up with the fast-paced developments in our social technologies should be upgraded. The need for faster and convenient modes of technologies has increased. Fuel cards are one of those advanced technologies that can meet the needs of the masses. A user of the fuel card can use the card to make payments at any gas station without wasting much time and effort. Furthermore, these cards can also be used for the payment of maintenance or other expenses regarding their vehicles. These fuel cards are convenient and offer a comprehensive report about the payments in real-time. A user can easily track their expenditures made through these cards. By using these cards, a user eliminates the manual task of submitting the receipts, audits, and issuance of checks. Some of the cards also offer discounts on fuel prices if used frequently.
The market of card-related transactions is changing at an exponential speed and these cards are being specially customized to meet the changing customer behaviors and preferences. The data on – customers are collected from the experience of customers carrying out transactions using digital mediums. The older means of payment are slowly changing with an increase in digitalization and a rise in awareness of the internet of things (IoT). Allied Market Research has forecasted that the global fuel cards market will reach $842.41 billion at a 5.3% CAGR by 2023.
The fuel cards are far better as compared to the vanilla purchased cards as these cards offer a detailed report about information including the mileage of the vehicle, amount of fuel consumed, and if your vehicle requires servicing. Different types of fuel cards that are available are as follows:
Branded Fuel Cards
Cards that are issued by fuel companies and can be used for a brand are called branded fuel cards. ExxonMobil, BP, Sunoco are some examples of branded fuel cards.
Universal Fuel Cards
Cards that offer universal coverage along with other benefits like online reporting tools and level 3 data tools are called universal fuel cards. These cards are not brand specific. U.S. Bank Voyager, Wright Express, and Comdata are some of the examples of universal fuel cards.
Merchant Branded Cards
Merchant branded cards are the cards that are issued when fuel merchants make a partnership with fuel companies. These cards can be universal or branded. It depends on the partnership policies. Quick Trip, Thornton, and Circle K are some of the examples of merchant branded cards.
Many companies have invested their fair share in the market of fuel cards. FLEETCOR is a leading company that provides fuel card services. Their customers are petroleum marketers, oil companies, commercial fleets businesses, and governments of Europe and America. They have their headquarters situated in Georgia and have approximately 4,780 employees all over the world. They have tie-ups with brands such as KeyFuels, AllStar, The Fuelcard Company, and CCS. They process transactions of roughly 1.9 billion globally. They offer in-depth solutions to their customers along with detailed reports. Furthermore, they offer solutions for card-related and workforce payment queries.
WEX Inc. is a leading corporation that offers fuel card payment solutions. It has 2,265 employees and is located in South Portland, Maine. It operates with Singapore, Italy, Belgium, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and other countries. It offers a key feature called WEX Telematics GPS Tracking, which offers a real-time display of fleet vehicles. Another feature, called WEX Fleet ClearView, is a perfect integration of analytics and benchmarking platform that provides fleet managers a dynamic display of their operations. It also provides a Fleet SmartHub mobile application that offers all the information of your fuel card account. This application optimizes the purchasing process and makes tracking and reporting easier.
Another company in the market of fuel cards is U.S. Bancorp Fuel Cards. It is a financial holding company with assets amounting to US$422 billion. It is the parent company of the U.S. Bank National Association. With the launch U.S. Bank Fleet Merchant Program, it has issued approximately 1.8 million Voyager Fleet Cards. These cards can be used in all the states of the U.S., at around 2,30,000 retail locations. The U.S. Bancorp offers its customers with different card partnership programs, fleet management solutions, and fleet card merchant solutions. Its card features inclusive fleet management and report capabilities. In addition, it offers simplified maintenance and fuel data reports.
British Petroleum is a multinational company and is one of the leading integrated oil and gas companies. Its headquarters is situated in London, England. It owns branded fuel cards and issue them under names such as BP Plus in Australis, the UK, and New Zealand regions, and BP Business Solutions in the U.S. British Petroleum offers three different programs for companies based in the U. S. The programs are based on accessibility needed for fueling, size, and level of reporting needed. In the U.K., it has made an agreement with Esso. This agreement covers around 3,500 sites. They also have tie-ups with Nectar. Nectar offers loyalty points as rewards for point management. British Petroleum offers incentives per liter of fuel filled in Australia and New Zealand. Along with the incentives, they also offer detailed reports and have BP Plus mobile app and fuel payment applications.
As more number of customers are preferring digital forms of payment, various companies have started an integrated approach of making the mode of digital payment frictionless. They offer personalized loyalties to garner more customers and drive the market. As consumers have increased the use of digitalized payments, various enterprises have increased their focus on cybersecurity and payment security. The fuel cards market has directly impacted this growing trend as it satisfies all the needs of a consumer.
Different norms and features can be listed that would fuel growth in the market of the fuel card market.
With immaculate integration of GPS data with the fuel cards, a consumer can efficiently track their fleet performance. They can determine the nearest fuel station on their route and can track the dynamics of their vehicles. This can prevent inconveniences like an unscheduled stoppage of the vehicle or extra payment for refueling at a non-partner outlet.
Enhanced Data Capture
By enhancing the data capture, it gets easier to track the expenses and efficiency of the cards. They can provide details like tax information, transaction details, fuel product, quality of fuel, odometer reading, and fuel grades. With the help of this extensive data, a user can identify problems like fraudulent transactions, lower fuel efficiency, etc.
Integrating Analytics, Cloud, Mobile, and Social Media
By flawlessly integrating with the digital platforms, awareness for the fuel cards can be increased. By promoting the fuel cards and offering incentives, the market for the fuel cards could grow exponentially.
Emphasis on Security
Security should be made stringent so that if the card gets misplaced, a non-user should not misuse the card. This can be avoided by integrating a chip and pin in the card so that it becomes easy to monitor fuel reports.
By keeping a real-time update using the GPS, a user can estimate the distance of their travel with the current fuel levels and select a location for refueling. This can help a user to locate the nearest service station in case of emergencies like flat tires or engine burn-out.
Efficient Fleet Administration
The platforms for fuel card should support API-driven interfaces for their users’ accounting system or their purchase system, a reporting system for keeping fuel records, and ERP system. With the integration of API, users could enjoy a faster interface and get in-depth information regarding their usage and transactions.
Acceptance of Card throughout the World
New platforms for fuel card services should be created that would support various interfaces of fuel card-specific networks. These platforms should be capable of handling different currencies and should process fees and taxes accordingly.
The digital world is constantly undergoing transformation to meet the needs of a consumer. This includes the cards and payment industry. The use of digital platforms is increasing as the number of millennial customers is increasing. This could be the driving force for the fuel cards market to reach new heights.