News & Resources

Trucking industry shows electronic payments work when useful features added

Oct 03, 2013 Dave King

For many years, the commercial trucking industry has been using electronic payment platforms to help carriers better manage and track fuel expenses. According to the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ), leading fleet enterprises have been using advanced fuel cards to control driver purchases since Comdata introduced the first fuel card in 1981.

The source noted that the format of the transaction medium has seen few adaptations since the first manifestation of the technology. However, what has changed significantly has been the level of detailed information collected by such cards.

The very first fuel cards offered purchase limits and were able to collect data regarding point-of-sale statistics. Now, many fuel cards allow carriers to monitor incredibly detailed spending patterns from driver to driver. They can limit certain card holders to a specific fuel type and include restrictions for non-fuel products drivers may need on the road that can be analyzed in real-time.

Another advanced technology Comdata now offers to carrier users is the FleetAdvance service that gives carriers the ability to calculate the cost of fuel compared to other stations in a given market, based on a 1 to 100 scale. According to CCJ, FleetAdvance also gives carrier leaders the ability to view overall savings or excess spending drivers accumulate over specified time periods.

Comdata's innovative technologies have made it a major player in the carrier payment sector. According to a recent press release from the organization, about 30,000 retail fuel locations in the United States participate in the company's Comdata Fuel Consortium network.

That number continues to grow, most likely due to the useful features developed by Comdata. Although the basic format of the fuel card has seen little change over the years, the payment transaction firm has been able to increase its clientele by implementing practical tools for fleet carriers.

Apply to consumer transactions
These same principles can be applied to consumer-focused electronic payment tools. Currently, mobile and electronic payment platforms have been slowly adopted in the consumer sector.

However, a transaction processing firm that is able to create useful monitoring tools that can help consumers better analyze and control their spending may see a spike in adoption. As has been the case with Comdata, advanced analytical tools have proven to be a great way to increase adoption rates.

Any payment enterprise that takes these proactive steps to payment monitoring will only enhance their reputation among consumers.