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Fleet FAQ? Fuel Management

January 16, 2018

Q. How can fuel cards help fleets regulate costs?

Fuel cards help businesses fuel their vehicles, document and analyze those fuel purchases, and limit exposure to unauthorized purchases. Legacy payment types such as debit cards, credit cards and cash lack the ability to restrict purchases or report on what businesses are spending on fuel. A fleet card allows operators to manage those purchases by assessing the data collected from every purchase and using it to ensure organizational policies are being followed. This efficiency also frees up administrative resources for higher-level tasks.

A closed-loop fuel card uses a network that allows the user to control the type of merchant where the card can be used, the type of products the card can purchase, and what time of day, day of the week, dollar amount, and frequency the card can be used.

With open-loop products such as a traditional purchasing card, the bank or issuer may not own the entire chain. So you might have an issuing bank, someone else doing the processing for you, another institution doing the billing. A closed-loop network, such as the one featured by WEX, is a proprietary network. WEX releases specifications to the merchants that accept the WEX card. That means, in this example, that WEX is the issuer, the processor, does the billing, issues the credit, and basically owns the entire chain.

That allows the fleet card provider to control what data is captured and what to do with it. It’s a more secure network, because data is not being passed to anybody before it comes back to the customer.

Expert Bio

Answered by : Bernie Kanavagh from WEX

Senior Vice President and General Manager

A 27-year fleet professional, Bernie Kavanagh currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet at WEX Inc. He joined the company in 1996 and his career has been a steady progression of increased sales and marketing responsibility. Kavanagh serves on industry related boards and is a frequent speaker at payment industry conferences focusing on fuel trends and technology in the payment space. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is an active member of NAFA, AFLA, NCSFA and AALA. Prior to joining WEX, Kavanagh held a number of roles with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Fleet Management.

A 27-year fleet professional, Bernie Kavanagh currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet at WEX Inc. He joined the company in 1996 and his career has been a steady progression of increased sales and marketing responsibility. Kavanagh serves on industry related boards and is a frequent speaker at payment industry conferences focusing on fuel trends and technology in the payment space. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is an active member of NAFA, AFLA, NCSFA and AALA. Prior to joining WEX, Kavanagh held a number of roles with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Fleet Management.

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Fleet FAQ? Fuel Management, Questions?

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Q. What is a fuel card? How does it work?

A. Fuel cards were designed to make it easier for businesses to pay when they fuel their vehicles. As fuel cards became more sophisticated, they also began offering businesses discounts and rebates plus the ability to track and analyze fuel purchases, creating the ability to control costs, making it easier to track expenses and enhance the bottom line without carrying cash or relying on inaccurate manual data entry.

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