Limits - Impac - March8

Mitigating Fleet Risk: What Fuel Card Limits Are Available?

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Fuel cards incorporate security features designed to protect fleet companies against unauthorized activity: purchase controls or limits. 

Mitigating Fleet Risk: What Fuel Card Limits Are Available? - Impac

Once a fleet company has determined if the implementation of fuel card limits would be beneficial to their business, they are able to choose the limits that best suit their daily operations.

Setting limits that are satisfactory for the drivers and vehicles that make up a fleet can be a challenging task; if controls are too restrictive, drivers may face delays with lost time and company money as a result. However, if they are too relaxed, vulnerability to internal suspicious activity increases.

Most fuel card programs have various helpful limits available: gallons or dollars allowed per transaction or day, number of transactions per day, authorized fueling times and days, fueling location, fuel only or fuel and maintenance usage, and driver PIN numbers. 

Some cards can restrict the fuel or product type that cards can purchase. Product type limits have the ability to prevent unauthorized behavior, as well as to prevent drivers from inadvertently filling the tank with the wrong type of fuel–reducing the risk of maintenance issues down the road. 

While utilizing a fuel card can bring significant savings to a fleet company effortlessly, those companies who implemented the limit of restricting the number of gallons or dollars allowed per transaction per day saw an annual savings of at least 6 percent.

When fleet owners begin applying these limits to their cards, they must consider the nature of their business. If all drivers and vehicles have similar needs, one card limit template is acceptable to use for all cards. However, customization by driver or vehicle may be key to defeating unauthorized usage. 

Mitigating Fleet Risk: What Fuel Card Limits Are Available? - Impac

At Impac, our comprehensive fuel card program offers customizable limits for fleet companies, including time of day, day of week, purchase amount and fuel type. 

In addition, our attentive customer service team notifies fleet managers of unauthorized behavior with real-time text and email alerts, as well as detailed account management. 

Whether a business prefers more restrictive or relaxed limits, the purchase limits that are established on fuel cards should fit the unique needs of the fleet. Although there are a number of diverse limits on the market, fleet companies must know how to choose their ideal limits. 

In the next article of our series, “How to Set Fuel Card Limits”, you can learn how to effectively choose and implement fuel cards limits that can increase business productivity and help mitigate fleet risk. 

Mitigating Fleet Risk: Why Set Fuel Card Limits? - Impac

Mitigating Fleet Risk: Why Set Fuel Card Limits?

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According to data recorded by Automotive Fleet, unauthorized purchasing is the third most challenging issue faced within the fleet industry, after maintenance and raw fuel costs.

In strong efforts to minimize unauthorized personal and fuel spend, many fleet card companies offer purchase controls, or limits, that allow fleet managers to restrict location, time of day and other specifications for card use.

Some cards can restrict the fuel or product type that cards can purchase. Product type limits have the ability to prevent unauthorized behavior, as well as to prevent drivers from inadvertently filling the tank with the wrong type of fuel–reducing the risk of maintenance issues down the road.

Consequently, 71 percent of fleets allow personal use of both vehicles and fuel cards at all times.

Although limits are optional features on fuel cards, fleet managers are advised to implement them. Limits become necessary tools to run a successful fleet business, as unauthorized spend is a recurring issue throughout the industry.

95 percent of fleet managers believe their drivers are involved in suspicious activity, while only 18 percent are reported or caught. Therefore, unauthorized personal and fuel spending are underreported in the industry but persist to continue, causing an average loss of $130 a month per company.

However, fleet managers who have set limits on their fuel cards claim it has helped reduce overall fuel spend by as low as 5 percent, providing significant end-of-year savings.

It is important to keep in mind that setting the strictest limits can have an adverse effect on reducing company fuel card abuse. While they might be helpful in stopping personal spending, overly strict limits can deter drivers and slow business production down.

In these cases, relaxed limits are still acceptable, as email alerts can be set to help alert and detect suspicious behavior.

Mitigating Fleet Risk: Why Set Fuel Card Limits? - Impac

When it comes to setting limits on fuel cards and the benefits they may coherently present, Impac offers a customer service experience that is aimed to educate and inform.

At Impac, our fleet card program offers the most comprehensive tracking and reporting system in the industry today. Our flexible point of sale prompting, card level exception reporting and purchase control parameters allow fleet managers to manage their fuel programs with ease, within an industry that silently demands enhanced security.

As fleets in the industry require varying demands, based on sector, size and other factors, managers must recognize which limits are right for their business. In the next article of our series, “What Fuel Card Limits Are Available?”, you can learn what fuel cards limits and controls are available for implementation to help mitigate fleet risk.