5 Things You Didn’t Know About Fuel Cards
A fuel card can be described as an alternative payment method that uses a card embedded with a magnetic strip/smart chip technology. The card stores electronic data for authorising payment for a given service. Fuel cards are often used in gas stations to pay for petrol, diesel, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).Fuel cards mainly originated in the U.K and U.S in the 1960’s and 1970’s as owners and fleet managers struggled to find ways to reduce the cost of fuel while maintaining their fleets of vehicles on the road. These challenges gave birth to the first commercial fuel cards which only contained the employee’s name, the company name and the company logo. The fuel vendor would then verify the details from a manual register before fuelling the vehicle.
This process became time-consuming and insecure due to its vulnerability to fraudsters. However, with the development of computer hardware and software in the 1980’s magnetic card readers together with magnetic stripes on fuel cards brought about great changes.

Fleet management became cost-effective as owners and managers could track and limit their employees fuelling habits and fuel vendors could also monitor their own fuel transactions. Eventually, magnetic strips were replaced with smart chip technology reason being magnetic strips could easily be cloned and due to their regular use, the stripe would wear off over time.

How Do Fuel Cards Work?

Fuel cards are issued for corporates and SME’s and are the perfect solution for any company or business with a fleet of cars. The card works like a credit card allowing fuel and related products to be purchased. These are accurately recorded showing details of each transaction such as amount, VAT, other purchases or services besides fueling.

It makes it easy to keep detailed records even without receipts. Besides just paying for fueling, your fuel card can be used for other motor purposes such as:

1. Buy fuel Petrol, diesel LPG/CNG and electricity

The major benefit of having a fuel card is that you don’t have to pay cash upfront when refuelling. You can easily pay for petrol, diesel, LPG/CNG at any petrol station. This provides convenience to both you and the petrol attendant as it eliminates the need for cash. However, the gas station has to provide a magnetic card reader where you can swipe your fuel card

2. Buy Lubrication Oil, Screen Wash and Roadside Parts

Fuel cards can also be used to purchase other fuel products such as motor oil, engine coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluids and car accessories.

3. Buy Car wash or Vehicle Washing Systems

Some gas stations have a car wash area on site and attend to clients fueling at these stations. With a fuel card, you can authorise and pay for car wash services.

4. Pay For Tolls and Fees

Paying Tolls with cash can be time-consuming as you will need to have the exact amount or wait for change. Imagine a situation where every driver on that queue is waiting to pay cash. It is impossible to know all the Roads that charge toll fees and can be an inconvenience if you do not have the cash to pay. With a fuel card, you can easily pay for toll service. Some cards allow you to pay 5 days earlier or later after driving through the Toll Roads State Routes.

5. Assistance for Breakdown and Roadside Repairs

Every driver’s worst nightmare is your car breaking down while you are on the road. Before calling for breakdown services or roadside assistance, you probably need to have the cash to pay upfront. However, with a fuel card, you can confidently call for breakdown and road assistance services and swipe your card to pay. Not only will it be efficient, but also effortless on your part.

Fuel cards are definitely worth it if you are looking to streamline your fleet operations. They record accurate transaction data that can be used for future reference and planning. If you are a fleet manager, sign up for Fuel cards today and experience convenience with each swipe.

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