New tools are disrupting the fleet industry to deliver a faster, easier, more intuitive payment experience to drivers
By Bernie Kavanagh, SVP and GM, Large Fleet, WEX, Inc.
As mobile payment technology continues to mature and security solutions come to the rescue of any outstanding consumer security concerns, it’s conceivable that most consumers will soon pick up their smartphones to make the majority of their purchases.
With that behavior taking shape, it’s likely that B2B payers will soon expect their B2B payments to be made as effortlessly.
This is certainly true in the fleet management industry, which is expected to undergo explosive growth and change in the next four to five years. At WEX, we make it our business to stay on the cutting edge of fleet management technology. That means both tracking and developing the tools that are driving mobility today. We believe one trend in particular can be expected to steer fleet into the future:
Mobile-first transaction authorizations provide an electronic safety net.
In 2018, WEX launched a mobile-first transaction authorization service for fleet drivers, which allows them to authorize a fuel transaction via mobile device and to document the purchase electronically. Called DriverDash, it uses a device’s biometric capabilities to create a seamless, secure transaction.
In addition to creating controls that eliminate counterfeit fraud, mobile payments offer a number of benefits for the fleet industry:
For drivers: Makes for less downtime fueling and easier access to the resources needed to keep moving; and reduces margin of error.
For businesses: Increases security with thumbprint or facial recognition to authorize and document the transaction; provides ability to limit access, as drivers can only utilize the app upon receiving an invite from the fleet manager; reduces card management responsibilities for the fleet manager and limits the potential for excessive fuel spend.
So, how does it work?
With telematics equipment installed, fleet managers receive engine information from the ECM (electronic control module) that can capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver content and data related to a vehicle as it operates. The ECM dynamically tracks system updates on fuel levels, seat belt use, maintenance reminders, idling time, hard braking and cornering, speed … a wealth of data that can be used to select the most cost-efficient pump station, manage tank levels, recall a vehicle for pre-emptive maintenance, make route decisions, fence off prohibited areas, and more.
As a vehicle armed with DriverDash pulls up to the pump, a pre-authorization is received to confirm that the asset is actually, physically there at the pump. Conversely, when the asset pulls away from the pump, a transaction receipt is received.
As an example, let’s say that DriverDash tells the fleet manager that the driver received 100 gallons. The fleet manager would be able to compare the tank level to the fueling event to make sure they didn’t fill up additional tanks or weren’t overcharged.
The latest and greatest in mobile pay-at-pump capabilities
To accelerate acceptance of our DriverDash mobile app and offer universal acceptance of the WEX payment tender via DriverDash to thousands more convenience and fuel retail operators across the U.S., WEX has worked with the largest names in the industry to ensure our platform has the widest acceptance.
That means 11,000 Exxon Mobil stations started accepting DriverDash in 2018, a rollout that will continue this year, bringing WEX mobile fuel payments to 25,000 fueling locations across the country with additional acceptance announcements coming. Integrating with fuel partners also means interacting with their point-of-sale (POS) technology — something that’s been in the DNA at WEX since the day the company was born.
Additionally, we are prioritizing integration of DriverDash as a payment option directly into merchants’ existing branded mobile apps, with the development of a mobile software development kit (SDK) for iOS and Android.
And, of course, we are in ongoing discussions with OEMs – and will intensify those talks over the course of the next weeks and months – as vehicle manufacturers reach out for proven payments platforms that can be installed within vehicles as a “single pane of glass” for their customers.
We believe applications like DriverDash – simple, intuitive, secure, mobile — will become more prevalent as fleet businesses look for new ways to manage expenses while staying nimble in the field.
Learn more about these and other compelling connected car topics when WEX co-presents “When the Car Becomes the Card,” joined by Honda Innovations, Enterprise Fleet Management and Amazon Alexa Auto, Tuesday, June 18, in Marina del Rey, Calif. For more information, click here.