Prepaid and Preset Fuel Cards Strategies for Small Business
There is a growing industry of prepaid credit card programs being marketed to fleet operators as a solution to fuel management. The bigger advertisers are Bento for Business and Net Spend, which provide Visa or Mastercard credit cards with controls to protect the issuer of the cards. If you are asking yourself ‘what are the advantages of a prepaid card for fleet fueling’ the answer is simple. Control.
What separates Star Oilco from a pure prepaid credit card is that we are total control to ensure only fuel is purchased with the card and that a commercial price can be found avoiding retail stations in many markets. We definitely agree that prepaid credit card programs can be effective — if managed properly. But there are draw backs to credit cards versus a restricted and programmed corporate fleet card. The biggest of these being your business has to pay full retail credit card pricing for your fuel. Add to that the opportunity to misuse a credit card isn’t removed and a gas station can often sell anything your employee puts on the card with fuel. Wouldn’t it be better to lock purchases down to the specific products your fleet needs?
The Star Oilco Card has all the features of a prepaid credit card with a fuel only purpose and fleet-specific protection.
Star Oilco’s fleet card program provides the same controls as a prepaid Visa or Mastercard but with the added benefit of being fuel- and fleet-focused.
Star Oilco’s approach is security-minded and designed to offer your Dispatch, HR, and Managers total clarity of what is happening daily with fuel. Like a Prepaid Visa or Mastercard, Star Oilco’s fuel card programs control transactions per day, time of day or by zip code and can add other restrictions for use, such as an e-receipt, to provide a real-time alert every time a card is used.
Unlike a Prepaid Visa or Mastercard though, we gear the security features to follow a vehicle — not a human being.
We set the controls to match the reality of the vehicle that needs gas, diesel, propane, maintenance or a hotel. Instead of a card issued to a human, it follows the company vehicle. Your drivers and employees are held responsible for a secret PIN that will show up in e-receipts, reports and invoices by their full name. The cards follow the keys of your vehicles and remain controlled by your Dispatcher and other Managers.
Star Oilco’s fleet cards are focused specifically on fleet needs.
Realistically, fleets face employee turnover. Hassling with babysitting a credit card budget each day while still giving an employee a credit card they can spend on anything isn’t a real solution. We are focused on the fuel need of fleets and have features prepaid credit cards do not.
CONTROL ALL FUEL BUYING BY:
– SPECIFIC FUEL TYPE
– GALLONS PER TRANSACTION
– TRANSACTIONS PER DAY
– TIME OF DAY
– PART OF TOWN
The biggest difference: We have prepaid controls without having to tie up your cash in a prepaid program.
As fuel prices change, your ability to use a credit card (not to mention their terms!) can change without notice. Our terms stay the same, and for credit worthy businesses, we are thinking of you in terms of gallons not a arbitrary dollar number. The biggest example is the reality of volatile fuel prices.
Fueling a fleet is a gallon game, not a dollar budget.
With a prepaid credit card, you will always have to examine your monthly fuel budget. The real downside to this occurs when prices spiral above $3 a gallon. At that point, you not only have to increase your credit exposure (and possibly tie up cash in a deposit dependent on the terms of the card) but the likelihood of theft increases as well. A Star Oilco Pacific Pride or CFN fleet card operating on the Fuel Man network sets your limits by the approved products, the gallons per day and a number of transactions per day. This limits your exposure to theft not in an arbitrary and ever changing dollar figure but the actual fuel a driver needs.
Another reality about fuel: Retail fuel sellers hate paying a credit card processing fee.
They pass that on with a “credit” price. So not only does a prepaid card tie up your operating cash flow in a deposit, you’ll pay a higher price for the fuel you buy. It is also estimated that moving from a retail gas station and convenience store fueling method to a commercial Pacific Pride or CFN site will save you ten minutes per fueling transaction. Being a commercial only island there are smaller lines, saving you measurably on driver labor.
Pacific Pride and CFN also have stand alone 24-hour/7-day/365-year access commercial fueling sites with high flow diesel. For operations running all hours, commercial access is a profound improvement over retail. These sites are priced not from a retail credit card price but a wholesale plus basis. This is a quantifiable and transparent way to negotiate a fair and competitive price for fuel.
If you want to look at Star Oilco’s approach to fuel cards, call us at 503-283-1256 or leave a message in the form below.
We look forward to helping you secure your fleet fueling easily while saving money on your total cost of fuel.
Star Oilco is a proud Independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride
with over 30 years of experience in solving fuel security issues for our customers.