Have you ever tried to track your mileage for every sales call or business trip, whether you’re driving 30 minutes or three hours? And what about keeping track of all your expenses and receipts? Anyone who travels for work, or hires people who will travel, understands the hassle of keeping a handle on daily expenses.
Today, business purchases and fuel expenses can be managed with an innovative fleet fuel card, and most are accepted at thousands of locations across the nation. When recruiting the best talent to come work for you, offering applicants the convenience of a trusted fleet fuel card program can be a huge selling point.
How offering a fleet card helps you attract and retain the best drivers
Time is money for salespeople, drivers, and other employees who are paid to move around efficiently and effectively. The more time they spend selling products, transporting merchandise, or providing an essential service, the higher their productivity. There’s no question that removing unnecessary paperwork from a daily routine – paperwork that may overflow into personal time at night or on the weekends – is an excellent benefit.
When you consider a quality fleet fueling card as an employee benefit, you can begin to understand the many ways these cards can improve your business. When you make drivers’ jobs more convenient and less frustrating, you can create loyalty. When you provide tools to make drivers’ jobs easier and more productive, you can reduce employee burnout and turnover.
Providing your employees with tools for success that involve better technology at their fingertips can boost morale, reduce absenteeism, and improve teamwork. For all these reasons, choosing the right fuel card is essential to your business’s profitability and success.
Many businesses still offer their employees credit cards for business travel. While this might seem more convenient, credit cards are usually limited in their ability to track expenses by category and types of purchases for each driver. Offering a trusted fuel card program can help you:
Track drivers’ purchases and mileage with a fleet card program
Each driver is required to enter a PIN when he/she uses a fleet card. A PIN can easily be activated and deactivated for immediate control of card use. If you sense suspicious activity, you can easily turn off the card in the fleet card program’s web-based and smartphone apps.
If drivers are using cash or credit cards, there is no mechanism or feature to track mileage. Without the ability to review mileage for each driver, businesses have little to no information for understanding driving behavior. Driver behavior has a direct impact on fuel efficiency. A quality fleet card program can track fuel consumption, along with driver habits like speeding and braking.
Put limits on fleet card spending
Fleet cards allow you to put limits on the amount and types of items and services that drivers can purchase. Unlike credit cards that allow purchases virtually anywhere, fleet cards limit drivers to buying from a trusted network of fuel stations and truck stop locations. Drivers are also limited to buying items within the scope of their employment activities.
From car washes to convenience store items to fuel, not only can you track each purchase, but you can also include limits on each card, depending on individual employee restrictions. For example, some drivers may have access to fuel only, while others are approved for certain types of convenience store items such as groceries. The control is at your fingertips.
Spending limits at the fuel pump can also be selected for each driver. Fuel cards give you complete management control while reducing the common credit card risks of theft, fraud, and misuse.
Most fleet cards are accepted at thousands of stations
Unlike a fuel card associated with one brand or company, a fleet fuel card program provides your business and drivers with a network of fueling stations to give drivers greater flexibility. Most fleet fuel programs include the majority (upward of 95%) of fueling stations and truck stops across the US.
Programs such as the WEX fleet card are more universal than others, plus these cards can be programmed to work only at preferred stations. Fleet cards are accepted at 45,000 service locations across the US, and WEX Connect makes it easy for drivers to find fueling locations – and the best price per gallon while en route.
Good fleet card programs provide excellent reconciliation tools
With the best fleet card programs, you can save valuable business office time and resources once dedicated to expense reporting and reconciling. When you choose a fleet card provider with the best payment automation and reporting, you save your administrative offices time and money and create a better workflow from the driver to the accountant.
Network discounts that come with a fleet card program
If you choose a fleet card program with a large network of stations, you may be eligible for fuel discounts based on total gallons purchased. Some fuel stations within a merchant network may also offer rebates or discounts as well as reward or loyalty programs. All these small discount offers can add up to big savings.
Driver convenience on the road by using a fleet card
Many fleet card programs offer drivers the ability to manage their cards from their own smartphones or laptops. Fleet SmartHub, for example, is a mobile control center that allows your drivers to make payments, check available credit, track spending, and more.
The smartphone app DriverDash allows drivers to make mobile payments immediately and directly at the pump for fuel or car washes. DriverDash also helps prevent fraudulent behavior like skimming. This secure mobile app also links to loyalty programs so drivers can collect points and rewards.
Better controls to prevent fraud or misuse come with your fleet card program
If your drivers are using credit cards, you may be missing out on certain fraud protection features. With a fleet card, you have more control to guard against employee misuse or the accidental loss of a card. The alerts built into fleet fueling card programs can almost immediately detect questionable driver activity, or if someone other than your driver is using the card.
Access to cash with a fleet card
Fleet fuel cards and checks offer cash on the road when necessary, and WEX OTR fleet cards give drivers access to cash without a fee at participating network truck stops. With the pre-loaded cards, drivers can simply pick up the cash without having to purchase anything. Now that’s convenience!
Gathering driver data while drivers use their fleet cards
The name of the game for any business today is the ability to gather data and understand trends to make better-informed decisions. Quality fleet card programs can track location and mileage for all drivers, and even alert you when maintenance is required on a vehicle.
By looking at each driver’s overall fuel and vehicle costs, you can pinpoint ways to improve fleet performance and save money. The ability to manage cards, generate reports, and change individual card limits and fuel purchases is easy with the web-based applications that come with the best fleet card programs.
Making the right fleet fueling card choice for your business needs
As you can see, a fuel card program benefits both drivers and businesses. With the range of options available today, it is important to carefully consider features and functionality when choosing the right program.
All fleet card programs are not created equal. Important features like card security, account management systems, customer service, and network size need to be examined carefully. To help ensure you get the right fuel card for your business needs, ask the following questions:
Fleet card security:
- What are the authorizations required to make a purchase?
- How will the system alert you in the case of fraud or a possible breach?
- What if the card is lost or stolen? What are the systems in place to prevent the card from being compromised?
- As a business owner, what is your liability in the case of fraud or misuse?
Fleet card account management system:
- What are the features of the online platform for fuel management and tracking?
- Is the technology user-friendly, and does it provide all the information you need?
- How easy is the report feature to use and to generate reports?
- Is there a mobile application available for business owners and drivers?
- Is the platform intuitive, and does it provide the level of detail you need to track your drivers and vehicles?
Customer service with your fleet card:
- Is customer service easy to access and reliable?
- Are you able to get quick answers to your questions?
- Does the company have a good plan for fleet card implementation and driver training?
- How easy is customer service to access when a driver runs into a problem at the pump?
- Are there any additional charges for customer service requests?
Fleet card network:
- How many stations are included in the fleet fuel card network?
- Can you choose certain locations for drivers to access?
- Does the network include other conveniences like groceries and car washes?
- Does the mobile application provide directions to the nearest fueling station or truck stop?
When considering the right fleet fueling program for your business and drivers, consider the total number of miles driven, how many drivers you have, the geography you cover, and your fuel purchasing patterns. By understanding your operations and the monthly expenses of your fleet, you will be better equipped to find the best fleet card program for your business needs.
A quality fleet card can make your business the best employment choice for drivers
Always keep your end user in mind when looking at different fleet card programs out there. The easier and more convenient the card is to use, the more time will be saved on the road, and the happier your drivers will be. Finding and keeping good employees and drivers requires the foresight of implementing a quality fleet fueling program.
The next time you interview potential drivers, consider listing the many rewards provided by sophisticated and quality fleet card programs like the WEX Card. You may be surprised by the appreciation these drivers experience when offered the opportunity for more convenience while on the road.
Fleet fueling programs save money and create long-term sustainability
When you integrate a fleet fuel card program with cost savings at the pump, the discounts may seem minimal. But when you add these up for every driver every week, every month, and every year, you can experience considerable savings on an annual basis.
These savings can help you hire more drivers, purchase newer vehicles, or provide employee incentive programs to keep your team happy and rewarded. Improving employee productivity and retention while lowering your overall costs can make all the difference in your sustainability.
All fleet cards are not the same, and different types of fuel cards suit the needs of different kinds and sizes of businesses. View WEX’s fleet card comparison chart to see which fleet fuel card is right for you.