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What Are the Business Benefits of Using Fleet Cards?

November 14, 2022

As interest rates go up and whispers of the coming (or already here) recession get louder, investors are shying away from financing the next potential unicorn. Liz Young, Head of Investment Strategy at SoFi, projects at least three more Fed interest rate hikes in the coming months. But before putting a stop on hiring, high-growth companies should review other strategies to reduce overhead.

Businesses that deploy and manage a fleet–which may include drivers, company cars, special purpose vehicles, trucks or construction vehicles–should incorporate cost-saving synergies in operations by combining their various payment and expense card programs into one.

By using a single issuer to manage all cards, companies are able to:

  • consolidate the relationship

  • cut down on administrative overhead

  • streamline reporting

A single fleet program that can also be used for commercial spending may be best in these cases.

The fleet programs offered by networks like Mastercard and Visa can be used in association with the account-level controls offered by Galileo Financial Technologies to proactively manage spending and streamline expense reporting for each user based on their role–and to generate detailed data from fleet-related transactions like fuel and maintenance. This data can help improve the performance of the vehicles and identify cost saving opportunities.

How Can Fleet Card Data Lead to Cost Savings?

Take an example of two drivers both using the fleet cards for fuel assigned to them. For each fuel purchase, the company can identify the fuel pump location, the provider and the net price for each fuel transaction. This data reveals fuel spending trends for each driver and can be leveraged to encourage and incentivize drivers toward better spending habits via methods including:

  • offering recommendations on where to fuel

  • encouraging use of automated pumps

  • defining a preferred time of day for fueling

  • using the odometer readings to suggest more efficient routes that save on fuel and extend the life of the vehicle

  • using gamification to give each driver a score based on their saving and performance, which can then be compared with other drivers to encourage healthy and friendly competition

Meanwhile, filing fuel taxes can be accomplished more efficiently by integrating the data for mileage, amount of fuel purchased and cost of purchase directly to tax filing software rather than manually entering each entry from driver logs - a slow, painful and often erroneous process.

Fuel and fuel-related expense fraud can be controlled by reviewing the location of a vehicle using GPS and comparing it with the fueling location. Additional checks can be put in place by analyzing vehicle ID, fuel tank size, mileage and last date of fueling to prevent employee misuse. Account-level controls can be used to restrict fuel purchase amount and non-fuel related items.

How Fleet Cards Can Help Monitor Vehicles and Machinery

Fleet cards don’t always have to be connected with the driver. They can be associated with the vehicle as well to streamline reporting of maintenance and fueling history and simplify the process of direct billing to clients for the use of the vehicle.

This data can also be integrated with the company's vehicle management system to maintain full maintenance history in one place. Based on the service history, better pricing and deep discounts with preferred merchants can be negotiated.

Further, by leveraging account-level controls, companies can restrict spending on fleet cards to approved merchants, amounts and other parameters, reaping cost savings and optimizing the expense reporting process. Inbuilt flexibility to allow program managers to self service and update those controls in real-time during an emergency or change in company policy can be critical to achieving those saving goals while keeping the business running efficiently. Driver ID prompts can also be used in these cases for further driver accountability.

It’s important to note, a company doesn’t need to operate a fleet of vehicles to get value from a fleet card. Companies that have speciality equipment that may be stationary, but needs fuel to run or have maintenance costs, can use a fleet card for business to help manage spending associated with an individual piece of machinery. Any repairs, parts, maintenance or lease payments can be made using the card. For example, a landscaper could use a fleet card to manage all their expenses for the lawn mowing machines to better track the performance and expense for that equipment.

How Can Galileo Help Establish a Tailored Fleet Card Program?

Fleet cards help companies work smarter, save more and reinvest in growth–and Galileo Financial Technologies can help craft a fleet card program designed to fit a range of unique needs and use-cases, enabling nearly any company to reap those benefits.

Read more about Galileo’s solution for account level controls here.

Learn more about fleet cards for business through our developer docs here.

More about Pallavi Khanna, Senior Product Manager here.

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