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4 min read.

4 Ways P-Fleet Helps Companies Control Driver Fuel Card Purchases

Mar 3, 2016 1:42:56 PM

Fuel Card Controls for Business

Have you ever wondered what else could be done to manage driver fueling and strengthen your company’s expense control? When it comes to issuing company fuel cards, having the right resources is the difference between success and stress. But don’t worry – P-Fleet has developed a multilayered approach to help companies control their accounts. Each layer complements the other so that your overall fuel program is secure.

Layer 1: Driver fuel card policy

The first layer of defense against misuse of cards is making sure drivers understand the permitted use. P-Fleet can help your team draft a driver fueling policy that drivers must sign before receiving their card. The policy should clearly state your expectations for driver use. Specify the authorized use for when (i.e., days and times), where (i.e., what sites or brands), to what purpose (i.e., vehicle to and fuel type) and how often (i.e., number of transactions) cards should be used. You might also want to provide instructions for how additional fueling data, like driver or vehicle identification and the odometer, should be entered at the pump prior to purchases. The goal is to eliminate any confusion surrounding the program so each driver is confident on how to use their new cards.

In addition to stating the permitted use, an effective driver fuel policy indicates the consequences if drivers disregard the rules. This is your opportunity to dissuade your employees from making the wrong choice and explain what could happen should any of their fuel purchases be non-compliant. Consequences could include revoking the use of the card, repayment of fraudulent amounts, or even terminating employment. Regardless of the consequences, you’ve established the ground rules, making it easier to enforce compliance throughout the company.

Layer 2: Card purchase controls

A driver policy alone is obviously not enough to curb unauthorized spending, which is why P-Fleet’s fuel cards include various purchase controls to support your rules. These restrictions vary based on your unique needs, but can include:

  • Fuel or product type

  • Gallons or dollars per transaction

  • Gallons or dollars per day, week or month

  • Transactions per day

  • Authorized fueling times and days

You can either set the same controls across the board, or customize controls for individual cardholders. Your initial trial run does not need to be exact, as you can easily adjust the purchase controls through your online account whenever changes are needed. The point is to set limits that minimize slippage while still enabling your drivers to refuel without hassle.

In addition to setting up your card controls, make use of the additional fueling data that is gathered with each purchase. As drivers enter valid odometer readings, P-Fleet’s system will calculate miles per gallon (MPG) and cost per mile (CPM) for each vehicle. MPG and CPM that differ from reasonable expectations could indicate vehicle maintenance issues, poor driving habits, or even theft.

Layer 3: Suspicious transaction alerts

After putting in place your policy and card controls, how do you detect suspect activity if it occurs? With P-Fleet’s fuel card alerts, you'll receive notification by email of flagged activity so that you can respond immediately. For some companies, setting too strict card controls could cause issues when changes to the jobs or routes occur. In these cases, you might allow cards to be used outside of normal business hours while setting an alert so you're aware of irregular activity. Our system captures information regarding fuel volume, as well as driver and vehicle information. These alerts include:

  • Volume Changes: Increases to your average weekly fuel volume could be indicative of potential theft. P-Fleet monitors for dramatic changes and will alert you of suspicious activity so that you can take appropriate action with the drivers in question.

  • Driver Transaction Errors: Even as card controls restrict purchases, you might want to know when someone attempts to circumvent those controls, resulting in an error at the pump. Perhaps the driver misunderstands the fueling policy or card limits need to be adjusted.

  • Product Exceptions: Set product alerts, like unleaded usage, to help curb abuse. Fueling that differs from normal purchasing patterns is automatically reported to you.

  • Card Watch: Receive notification whenever a specific card is used.

  • Time or Day of Purchase: Set alerts for purchases that occur at night or on weekends, for example, even if your card limits allow for those transactions.

  • Fueling Location: Identify driver fueling that doesn’t occur at designated sites.

Layer 4: Online driver monitoring

Even after you implement an effective driver fueling policy, as well as controls and alerts, it’s important to monitor driver usage regularly. Make use of P-Fleet’s online tools to review transactions from CFN, Fleetwide and Voyager cards tied to your account. Download transactions into Excel for easy sorting and filtering. View gallons, price per gallon, purchase amount, date, time, location, fuel product, odometer and other card details. Run fuel reports for any time period to compare usage and gain insight into driver activity.

Read our ultimate guide to a secure fuel card program →

Topics: Fuel Cards
P-Fleet Staff

Written by P-Fleet Staff