Some would say “The world no longer runs on that little plastic card in your wallet; it’s the mobile device that you can’t leave home without today” Well, we are perhaps not there just yet, but the trend is clear.
Mobile payments and the growing demand for the service are transforming business in nearly all industries. While credit and debit cards are still among the most frequently used payment methods (cash still reigns, as this Mastercard study shows), mobile and other forms of payments are on the horizon.
It’s no wonder: They offer big consumer advantages – convenience, efficiency, rewards tracking. And companies benefit from their adoption as well, in part because of the data they return. For instance, in the fuel card industry, a fleet manager could leverage connected mobile devices (smartphones, Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth beacons) to collect rich data about vehicles and drivers, including their spending, fuel use, location information and driving behaviours. Whilst control of spending remains the highest priority we are beginning to see new trends emerging, such as vehicle insurance premium based on driving behaviour.
There has been so much innovation in the area of payments that it is not surprising that the closed-loop fuel card issuers have lagged behind. Remember that the fuel card is not a payment card so there are additional factors to be considered. But it is clear to most that new forms of payment mechanisms will apply to the fuel industry. There has been innovation, for example, some of the first applications of RFID-enabled payments were at the fuel pumps, and some of those same companies are looking to incorporate mobile payments at fuel stations today. But it has not been universally applied.
There are obvious ways fuel card users can benefit from mobile payments. An in-app payment service, for instance, can allow drivers to maintain their various card types, complete transactions, check their payment history and pay for services such as a car wash or parking lot reservation in advance, all from the device. The data could be reported in real-time to the fleet manager.
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