Fleet News

Is your fleet fuelling fraud?

Advertisement feature from Barclaycard

A recent Fleet News poll confirmed that 64% of fleets have been a victim of fuel theft or fraud. And that’s just the ones who know. Many more are still in the dark.

Fuel card crime has risen sharply in recent years. It’s the fleet manager’s responsibility to ensure that their fuel card scheme is sufficiently secure to prevent fraud from costing their company serious money.

Third-party threats

Card theft by third parties can happen to anyone, with outright theft most common when cards are kept in vehicles. Magnetic stripe cards are susceptible to opportunistic theft because, once stolen, they are difficult to block. But the method currently favoured by organised fraudsters is to enlist cashiers to quickly ‘skim’ cards under the counter. Cloned copies are made and sold on as prepaid fuel cards, which can run up huge costs before discovery.

More modern card schemes rely on Chip and PIN and real-time authorisation instead. PIN usage prevents almost all third-party misuse and chip-powered cards can be blocked as soon as anything unusual is spotted. Chip and PIN also means that cards are not handled by third parties, effectively eliminating the chance of cloning.


Fraud closer to home

You would think it would be easy to spot drivers misusing a card to fill unauthorised vehicles or jerry cans, but a determined thief can cover their tracks so well that it takes close analysis to uncover the  truth – a level of audit that most fuel cards severely lack.

There’s a perception that low-level expense ‘fiddles’ like adding personal mileage onto business trips or claiming the wrong pence-per-mile rates aren’t worth the trouble of tackling. In actuality, such behaviour cumulatively costs hundreds of millions of pounds a year – far greater than more blatant forms of theft. Uncovering such misuse requires a sophisticated mileage audit system, so for many it goes unnoticed for years.

The secure solution

Barclaycard Fuel+, in association with The Miles Consultancy, is designed to address fraud head on. A Chip and PIN card, Fuel+ features real-time authorisation of every transaction – not just those over £50 – meaning cards can be blocked the minute a problem is flagged. What’s more, it includes Merchant Category Code blocking so the card cannot be used anywhere other than filling stations**.

Experience gained from issuing millions of cards for over 40 years has allowed us to perfect our fraud management tools and systems. And because it’s a VISA card, Fuel+ offers both third-party fraud protection and cardholder misuse indemnity as standard.

These features combine to make third-party fraud near impossible, but the award-winning mileage capture and audit system is where Fuel+ really delivers value. Our system looks at fuel volumes in relation to pump prices, journey mileage and vehicle-specific mpg figures to spot telltale discrepancies. If there’s a concern, our team call drivers directly, which usually has an immediate impact on behaviour without the need for HR involvement.

It’s a system that puts the responsibility for accurate recording on your drivers, rather than cashiers in filling stations. Often the latter results in inaccurate mileage figures, due to input errors or drivers forgetting odometer readings whilst queuing. It's by focusing on these often ignored ‘fiddles’ – the biggest area of abuse in terms of costs – that Fuel+ delivers an average fleet fuel cost saving of 25% in its first year*.

To take your fuel card security to the next level, go to barclaycard.co.uk/business/fuelplus or call 0844 822 2400***.

Please note that, at present, Fuel+ is available only to organisations with a business fuel spend of more than £100,000 p.a.
*This is based on the first year business fuel savings of 24 TMC customers calculated in 2012. TMC is a trading name of The Miles Consultancy Ltd, a provider of Mileage, Fuel and Mobility Management solutions. Registered Office: TMC House, Minshull Vernon, Cheshire CW1 4RJ.
**Please note that a few small fuel retailers with a shop may be classified by their Visa processing bank as a supermarket or convenience store and your card may therefore be declined. Only an outlet classified as a fuel retailer will accept your card.
***For BT business customers, calls will cost no more than 5.5p per minute, min call charge 6p (current at December 2014). The price on non-BT phone lines may be different. Calls may be monitored and/or recorded.
Barclaycard is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation
Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial
Services Register Number: 122702) and subscribes to the Lending Code which is monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board. Registered in England No: 1026167. Registered Office: 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP.

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