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Fleet Payment Solutions Stronger with Virtual Cards Strategic Partners

Posted January 16, 2018


Virtual cards leveraging the strength of Mastercard equity

In this fast paced, high volume and even higher expectations world, business cannot succeed on its own. Accomplished and savvy businesses require partnerships in order to navigate their own growth strategies with efficiency and confidence. The most important aspect of a strategic partnership is the ability to leverage specific positioning and strengths of both companies to enhance each other. These relationships are mutually beneficial, strengthening both companies over time. The corporate objective of any strategic partnership is to share resources and sometimes brand equity in a way that promotes mutual growth.

Where would Amazon be without UPS? What would the music industry do without iTunes or Spotify? And what would banking be without payment solutions and virtual card opportunities from Mastercard or Visa?

The 5 types of strategic partnership in business today.

  1. Horizontal: Businesses in the same area (i.e. competitors) agree to collaborate in a way that will improve their market position.
  2. Vertical: A business collaborates with a company in its own supply chain allowing businesses to minimize risk in the supply chain while obtaining lower prices in exchange for long-term commitments.
  3. Intersectional: Businesses from different areas agreeing to share their specific expertise for the advantage of the partner.
  4. Joint Venture: Two or more business form a new and separate company with its own legal entity where profits are split according to formal contracts.
  5. Equity: A company acquiring an equity stake in another company in exchange for a monetary investment.

It is no surprise that these strategic partnerships have made their way into transportation and logistics. In the trucking industry, partnerships are built most often with the financial needs of a company. Partners are most valuable in helping to develop robust payment solutions. After all, the trucking industry is positioned to be experts at moving products that keep our country and the global economy vibrant. Many of these fleets do not want to dilute that expertise by engaging in areas that are best suited for other experts, which is why they often rely heavily on strategic partners to help with payment solutions.

A company like EFS is positioned to provide the best fleet payment solutions in the trucking industry. They have the expertise in understanding technology, the resources to manage the execution, and the experience to lead the relationship. Additionally, while EFS is partnering with trucking companies to manage fleet payments, they are also partnering with other brands to augment those payment solutions even more.

Partnering with Mastercard for even more powerful fleet payment solutions

Along with a diverse number of industries around the world, not the least of which is banking, the trucking industry is leveraging a partnership with Mastercard. They know that Mastercard offers decades of payment experience along with a deep understanding of innovative technology. Fleet payment solutions like fuel cards and payroll cards have become invaluable to an industry that was once considered ignorant to the innovation of today. With 2.4 billion global cards and 56 billion transactions per year, a Mastercard partnership speaks volumes. In the trucking industry, a Mastercard partnership is more than just co-branding with integrity. The relationship provides strategic integration, allowing customers to transfer their information between business offerings, maximizing efficiencies and strengthening the financial supply chain. But it is not just the trucking company that benefits. Remember, partnerships are mutually beneficial, so Mastercard is also receiving an advantage from the relationship — most often seen in incremental revenue increase per transaction.

Writing for, Michael Koopman claims that 3 things must exist for a successful partnership to thrive.

“During the initial talks with a potential partner, there must be three opportunities available: leverage, scalability and incremental revenue. First, the partner must have a strategic market presence, brand or product that you can leverage from. Next, the engagement must be repeatable and able to be rolled out across sales forces. Finally, an opportunity to increase revenue must be present. Without the presence of all three, simply move on.”

He goes on to outline the 10 guidelines that all successful alliances should follow in order to drive revenue over the course of the collaboration.

  1. Business alignment: Define a strategic mutual vision of success for the parties involved.
  2. Agreement and contracts: It is important to document, often contractually, many of the details, such as the type of relationship, responsibilities, mutual risks, rewards, payments, service level agreements, branding guidelines, rules of engagement, and more.
  3. Business planning: Each party must collaborate to create a business plan. The business plan should clearly state missions, objectives and revenue goals.
  4. Executive engagement: Senior executives are the main influencers, and it is imperative they are on board with the partnership vision.
  5. Technical interoperability and/or integration: Both parties must ensure and communicate that both products and/or services work seamlessly together.
  6. Marketing: The world needs to know about the partnership, and strategic, consistent communications, internally and externally, need to be conveyed throughout the alliance.
  7. Field readiness: The sales teams -- whether direct, channel, agents or other -- of all partnered companies must be well-versed on the collaboration with a consistent message.
  8. Compensation: Will sales professionals, partner managers and executives be financially rewarded if the partnership is successful?
  9. Sales engagement: From field representatives to managers, make sure the sales teams are on the same page.
  10. Governance: You will have to decide how often the success of the partnership will be put under review.

Strategic partnerships are essential in growing business, but certainly not something to be considered lightly. Whether the partnership is a fleet payment product like the Mastercard Fleet Card or a full-service financial management partnership with a company like EFS, the relationship will be substantial and involved. The trucking industry will do well to approach either with a detailed strategy and a clear understanding of the individual company goals that will lead to mutual growth.







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