Fleet News

New apps will ‘add value’ in £6.5 billion fuel card market

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Fuel management company UK Fuels is expanding and enhancing its range of digital products with the aim of retaining and winning customers in the country’s £6.5 billion fuel card market.

The business, which supplies 350,000 card holders, is due to launch two smartphone apps – Velocity and E-route – within the next month and has also redesigned its website.

Already this year, Barclaycard/The Miles Consultancy and Portland have launched new fuel cards, while Allstar launched its Premier Programme, which offers fleets a free upgrade to a two-card service that incorporates a discount on diesel. Last year, RAC also launched a fuel card.

Colin Peters, head of digital (Europe) for UK Fuels’s parent company Radius Payment Solutions, said: “We are looking to improve our customers’ experience of visiting our website and add value to our products at no extra cost to the client.

“We believe that by giving our clients the tools they want, we can keep them for longer as well as grow our customer base.”

UK Fuels supplies fuel cards from major oil companies as well as its own Fleet One card, which is accepted at
2,700 outlets.

Its new-look website has been designed to help fleets select the right card or cards for their business based on factors such as location of offices or depots and regular routes driven.

Velocity is an online reporting system designed for fleet managers and operates on desktop PCs as well as on smartphones.

“One reason for bringing this product to a phone is security,” said Peters. “If a fleet manager wanted to stop a card if it was stolen or if somebody had left the company, then they can select it on their phone, wherever they may be and whatever time it is, and instruct us to stop the card from there.

“Fleets can also see the location of where drivers are filling up and whether there is any unusual activity.”

He said the app also allows fleet operators to view and print all invoices, as well as create reports based on a number of criteria, such as drivers or date ranges. It can also give a detailed breakdown of a vehicle’s fuel economy.

E-route is aimed at both drivers and fleet managers, and shows UK Fuels customers which filling stations their fuel cards can be used at.

“When people have multiple brands or a card accepted at different forecourts we need to give them the tools to find those locations,” said Peters.

“We did a survey among drivers and one of the top issues raised was that they cannot find the stations their cards are accepted at.

“The traditional way has been to send drivers a directory telling them where they can fill up, but these are out of date almost as soon as they are published.”

He believes that E-route will help fleets with route planning and minimise route deviation when a driver needs to fill up.

The app also shows live traffic updates and allows the user to filter filling stations by a number of criteria, such as whether they stock AdBlue or are open 24 hours a day.

Peters said both apps are free for existing and new customers and work on both Android and Apple devices.

UK Fuels has also recently launched the Velos corporate charge card which is designed to be used alongside an existing fuel card to pay for other business expenses such as toll charges, maintenance costs and hotels.

“The fuel card and credit card are getting closer together and we are looking now at the fleet as a whole and not just the fuel,” said Peters.

Invoices will be consolidated with a company’s UK Fuels fuel card.

Click here for fuel and fuel cards best practice and procurement insight

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