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The future of fueling with secure fleet card technology
Trucking fleet

The future of fueling with secure fleet card technology

January 18, 2024

Catch unauthorized purchases in real time with WEX SecureFuel

Right behind labor costs, the second largest expenditure fleet managers oversee is fuel expenses. With fluctuations in fuel prices, it is more critical than ever for fleet managers to track and control spending discrepancies, theft, or misuse of fuel cards. Fleet managers should instate clear policies on the use of fleet cards, ensuring employees understand all authorized uses and avoid damaging mistakes.

To take advantage of the security controls available today, it’s important for fleet companies to understand the fraud prevention technology behind the cards. Prompt reporting received from your fleet card company can provide the detection and protection you need.

Sophisticated data reporting to catch fuel card fraud

Whether the unauthorized use of fleet cards is by an employee, or the result of a lost or stolen card, unapproved uses can add up to thousands of dollars in stolen revenue. It’s important to have the right security controls in place to prevent this kind of fraud.

A common example of fleet card fraud is when a perpetrator finds a lost card and uses it before the card owner realizes it’s been lost or stolen. WEX’s SecureFuel technology can be added to many of the WEX-issued over-the-road (OTR) fleet cards your company issues. This technology provides greater fuel card control, gives you sophisticated data reporting and telematics features, catches fraudulent uses, and greatly reduces risks.

Customized authorization features for accuracy

Like ATM cards, fleet fuel cards are typically assigned to individual drivers. Each driver uses their card by entering their data card prompts, such as driver ID, unit number, trip number, or several other available options to validate the transaction before the authorization. Each card can be customized by your company to be authorized for purchasing a variety (or limited number) of items such as fuel, maintenance, and convenience store items.

If there are any questionable purchases or attempts to purchase an unauthorized item, most fleet cards on the market have the technology to automatically flag that fraudulent purchase and give companies the ability to cancel the card. The difference between available fuel cards lies in the accuracy of the technology that flags discrepancies. When shopping for a fleet card for your company, compare the different technologies being offered and survey customers about accuracy before making your decision about which fleet card company you’ll contract with.

WEX’s SecureFuel technology delivers innovation to the fleet card industry

Before SecureFuel technology was developed, what fleet card companies did was install hardware in every truck throughout each fleet network. Only in this way could the truck location and mileage be tracked. Today, there’s no hardware necessary. WEX’s SecureFuel technology integrates with a truck’s built-in telematics data to monitor fueling transactions in real time, creating many more ways to monitor every truck in the fleet.

WEX is an innovator in this space. It launched its SecureFuel technology back in 2015 and has implemented many upgrades since then. Today, WEX integrates with dozens of telematics providers for access to real-time truck data. With the fluctuations we experience with fuel today, protecting your fleet’s overall fuel spend has never been more important.

Monitoring tank level and more with your fleet card account

When a driver attempts to purchase fuel using their fleet card, the SecureFuel technology checks the truck’s location and tank level before securely authorizing the purchase. By combining fleet truck telematics with fleet card transaction data, any unauthorized purchases will be picked up with the WEX SecureFuel technology, and companies can choose to be notified immediately of the incident, or even decline the transaction.

A truck’s built-in telematics can provide fleet managers with everything from the location, speed, fuel level, and more. Prior to SecureFuel, many fleet managers set limits on the fuel level allowed for each truck, but this method of tracking left room for exposure. The truck could be sitting for a few days, but the daily fuel limit would keep refreshing, which skewed the data.

The SecureFuel software can check the telematics data for the fuel capacity of a truck’s tank at any given time. When the fleet card is swiped, the tank level is monitored in real time and limits the allowed purchase amount. This substantially reduces fuel card theft and can amount to large savings over time.

Tank level monitoring catches a lot of the discrepancies that could occur in the data. If a customer doesn’t have telematics or a black box on their truck, SecureFuel can enable their phone to provide location information, which does assist in tracking how much fuel a driver is using. The game changer with SecureFuel is that managers can stay updated on the fleet’s tank levels in real time, which is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to fraud prevention. 

Turnkey software implementation with your fleet card

SecureFuel is one of the only data management solutions available today in the fleet trucking industry that uses your truck’s telematics or Engine Control Module (ECM). The ECM is the brains of the truck and where the truck’s systems data lives.

SecureFuel technology integrates with most third-party telematics providers, so no additional hardware installation is necessary and new telematics providers are being added continually.

Accurate real-time information to compare truck location and fuel card usage

SecureFuel provides accurate and real-time information about a driver’s activity by combining the truck’s telematics with the driver’s fleet card transactions. Now more than ever, fleet managers can closely monitor the activity of their fleets.

If companies don’t have software technology like WEX’s SecureFuel, fleet managers will be stuck looking at multiple data sets and comparing them against their truck GPS or black box location devices which can be a complicated process. With SecureFuel, the data is pulled at the time of the transaction and compares the location of the truck with the location where the fuel card transaction is happening. If the two don’t match up, there’s a red flag.

The SecureFuel system will detect if there’s a difference between the location of the truck and the location where the card is being used. There are different levels of security controls on SecureFuel, from providing activity reports and alerts to actually declining transactions in real time. Customers can become more active users the more comfortable they become with the technology, as well.

Engine Control Module (ECM) reconciliation protects against skimming

Traditional fleet fuel cards have a PIN number for protection, but the illegal practice known as skimming is a long-standing problem in the industry. This type of fuel card theft happens when there is an overlay device installed on the pump keypad that steals card information – including the card number and PIN.

SecureFuel monitors where the truck is in real time compared to where the fill-up is taking place. If the card does not pass the proximity validation with the truck, the SecureFuel software will send an alert. When fleet managers receive this alert they then have the option to disable or shut cards off upon receipt.

Fleet card activity monitoring  guards against driver misuse

SecureFuel provides daily transaction reports, allowing fleet managers to monitor activity in real-time on a desktop or mobile app. Fraud becomes easier to identify, helping to reduce loss by a disgruntled employee, for instance, who may be tempted to misuse the card.

Whether the fleet size is 50 or 5,000 vehicles, detailed reporting capability allows fleet managers to easily check unauthorized use by employees or anyone who steals or misuses the card. The online tools make it convenient to check activity by driver.

Reduce driver keypad errors with your fleet card account

All truckload carriers today must maintain accurate fuel records for each truck or vehicle in the fleet, including types of fuel purchased. A tanker trailer versus a reefer (refrigerator trailer), for example, requires different codes for different taxes. If a driver is not careful and puts in the wrong code, a higher tax could be mistakenly assigned and paid with the purchase.

WEX’s SecureFuel technology can eliminate this improper coding by automatically associating the truck with the correct transaction code. Not only that, but accurate fuel records will be easily maintained for improved record-keeping. The SecureFuel technology will even check for accuracy when a driver is prompted for an odometer reading at the pump.

Reduce fleet card paperwork for expense reporting

When you have sophisticated fuel card technology controls, the time that office staff spends on travel and expense reporting can be reduced substantially. If a fleet company accounting department needs the last three months of activity by a specific driver, for example, the report can be accessed instantly.

If a request is made to tally the total fleet transactions in a specific category, like maintenance or oil changes, the reports are easy to generate, and can be filtered by category. Virtually any report by truck category or driver is at your fingertips with the SecureFuel software, making it extremely customizable for the fleet and the user to schedule reports daily, weekly, or monthly.

Fleet card push notifications via email or text message

Fleet managers can set up notification profiles at specific times during the day for different shifts. These custom notifications are perfect for fleet managers overseeing multiple divisions. Push notifications can be set to send alerts to trucks in a specific region, for example.

Today, fleet drivers are becoming more productive with mobile apps that can access these important push notifications and compliance alerts. By providing these convenient features to drivers, fleet managers are increasing their overall fleet productivity.

Technology that works across WEX network locations

WEX’s SecureFuel technology can access a network of over 130,000 truckstops and retail fuel locations across North America. In comparison, credit card merchants cannot necessarily provide these location details for transactions.

The SecureFuel technology can pinpoint specific merchant locations, even if they are across the road from one another. This large network gives fleet managers the edge on GPS location tracking for card transactions, providing even more security against fuel theft.

Universal Network Authorization can limit fuel purchase to tank capacity

Before authorizing any fuel purchase, the WEX universal secure payment technology can validate any attempted WEX OTR card transaction and tank fuel level by checking the location of the truck. Then, once the purchase is complete, the carrier or fleet manager will receive the information.

The Universal Network Authorization will find purchase irregularities and trigger alerts to pinpoint any suspicious transactions in real time by reporting on the driver’s location and tank level after purchase. This secure payment authorization is guaranteed by WEX.

As an added level of security, SecureFuel can set limits on the fuel purchase with the tank capacity that is available. In other words, fleet managers can ensure that the fuel fill-up is limited to tank capacity left in the truck and be prompted with real-time activity alerts and reporting.

SecureFuel provides reporting and analysis for complete transparency

WEX’s SecureFuel technology provides complete transparency into how your fleet is purchasing fuel – all without interrupting your driver’s operations. SecureFuel uses big data to help identify purchase irregularities, trigger real-time alerts, and ultimately help you better manage and control your second largest variable expense: fuel.

Tracking features include tank level analysis and reporting, real-time alerts, purchase reconciliation reports (difference in purchase activity and tank level change), invalid purchase attempts (purchase attempts outside of an acceptable proximity of a truck’s current location), rejection reporting, transaction reporting, and advanced unit grouping.

Universal acceptance and security

SecureFuel is a universally accepted solution with technology that works across 16,000 truck stops and 150,000 retail gas locations in the WEX network. The SecureFuel technology is a solution to protect your OTR fleet and manage fuel expenses by catching unauthorized purchases in real time – without interrupting your driver’s operations.

SecureFuel provides your company with unparalleled fleet card software control. WEX’s state-of-the-art technology integrates with a dozen or more third-party telematics providers for access to real-time truck data. Combined with instant fleet fuel card reporting, the WEX technology is one of the best safeguards against fleet fuel theft available today.

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 cards to see which fleet fuel card is right for you.

WEX is a leading, global fintech solutions provider, simplifying payments and back-end business processes in the fleet management, benefits management, and corporate payments areas. To learn more, please visit the company’s About WEX page.

Apply for a fleet card today!

Editorial note: This article was originally published on June 28, 2022, and has been updated for this publication.

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