Fuel card security is a major concern for many fleet professionals. Visa and Mastercard have begun rolling out chip-embedded consumer cards which are more secure and help reduce fraud, however, Visa and Mastercard recently announced that they have extended the deadline for fuel stations to update their equipment to new technology that accepts debit and credit cards embedded with chips. The original deadline was October 1, 2017, and fuel stations now have until October 2020 to install chip-card technology at their pumps. For fleets, this means chip-embedded fuel cards may now take longer to be implemented. Despite this delay, there are many best practices that fleets can follow to help keep their fuel cards secure.
Donlen recommends that fleet managers and drivers implement the following best practices to ensure the security of fuel cards.
Fuel Card Best Practices for Fleet Managers
As outlined in the chart above, there are several ways that fleet managers can protect the security of their fleet’s fuel cards, such as…
1. Monitoring your fleet’s fuel transactions carefully and often
The surest way to protect your fleet from fuel card fraud is to closely monitor your fleet’s fuel transactions, which you can easily do using fuel exception reports in FleetWeb. In those reports you will be looking for fuel card activity that is either suspicious or outside of your drivers’ set limits.
2. Ensuring Donlen (or your fuel provider) has the most up-to-date customer-assigned fuel IDs
By making sure that your fuel provider has the most up-to-date customer-assigned fuel IDs on file, you can accurately monitor and report your drivers’ fuel card activity.
3. Reviewing fuel card limits regularly and adjusting as needed
With fuel prices increasing, make sure your fuel limits are set to your desired levels. If you have drivers that are consistently spending far below the limits, consider lowering your limits to decrease the opportunity for fraud. Exception reports can also be used to review if your limits need to be adjusted.
4. Minimizing spare fuel cards and storing them in a secure place
By reducing the number of spare fuel cards, you can minimize the risk of spare cards being compromised. If you do have spare fuel cards, ensure that they are stored in a secure, locked location.
5. Canceling fuel cards immediately if the driver is terminated or the vehicle is sold/disposed
To ensure that your fleet’s fuel cards are only used for drivers and vehicles within your fleet, it is important to cancel fuel cards immediately upon the termination of an employee or the sale of a fleet vehicle.
6. Reporting unauthorized charges in a timely manner
This is why it is critical to consistently, carefully monitor your fleet’s fuel transactions. Be sure to report unauthorized fuel charges – which can be identified with Fuel Transaction reports in FleetWeb – as soon as you identify them to minimize your fleet’s liability.
7. Implementing Fuel PUSH emails to drivers
At Donlen, PUSH emails are reminders sent via email to fleet drivers to help fleets Prevent Unnecessary Spending Hazards. By implementing Fuel PUSH emails for your drivers, your drivers will receive notifications for MPG deviation, purchases that exceed tank capacity, exceeding their single fuel purchase limits, or exceeding their same-day fuel purchase limits.
Fuel Card Best Practices for Fleet Drivers
Fleet managers alone can’t keep fuel cards secure. Fleet drivers also have responsibilities to secure their fuel cards, such as…
1. Storing their fuel card in a secure place, not in their vehicle
Drivers should always keep their fuel cards in a secure location outside the vehicle.
2. Keeping their Driver ID/fuel PIN confidential
Do not share your Driver ID/PIN with anyone, and just as we are all told to never write down the password for our computers, drivers should never write their Driver ID/Pin on their fuel card.
3. Using fuel pumps that are located closest to gas station attendants
Criminals are less likely to install credit card skimmers close to the gas station attendant. Pumps that are out of the attendant’s line of sight are more likely to be tampered with because they are easier targets.
4. Checking the pump’s card reader, which should be a solid piece of the casing
The card reader on a fuel pump should be firmly attached to its casing, whereas skimmers can be easily removed from the pump. Make sure that the card reader is firmly attached at the pump, and also ensure that it looks the same as other card readers at that fuel station. When in doubt, drive to a different fuel station to fill up.
By following these best practices, fleet managers and drivers can help prevent fuel card fraud, and Donlen’s Fuel Management program makes it easy.
Interested in learning more about Donlen's Fuel Management program?