How are your card payments processed?
This is an important question for businesses, especially those that emphasize efficiency and security. In order for payments to reach their destinations, they must be processed on a “network” behind the scenes.
You have choices when it comes to the network that processes your business expenses. Choosing a closed loop network (offered by fleet cards) or an open loop network (typically used for consumer and corporate credit cards) can make a big difference when it comes to efficiency, security, and your bottom line.
Closed loop vs. open loop: Which should you choose?
Closed loop cards run on a custom-built platform, allowing the card to capture detailed data.
Because of this custom platform, a closed loop card (such as a fleet card) can report extremely specific information, like number of gallons pumped, fuel grade, cost per gallon, product type and description, odometer reading, miles per gallon, and more. The ability to capture this level of information is unique to closed loop cards.
Before a purchase, fleet cards require a driver ID or vehicle ID and an odometer reading. This two-step authorization creates a high level of security and also allows every purchase to be tied back to a specific vehicle and driver.
Gain visibility with better data
Closed loop cards capture Level III data, a more detailed and nuanced set of data than open loop cards are able to provide. Level III data adds who, where, and exactly what was purchased on top of the typical information captured by a credit card. For each purchase made with a closed loop card, you can identify the driver, vehicle, current odometer reading, product type and description, fuel grade, cost per gallon, and more.
This level of data is possible because the closed loop network is custom-built. It’s this detailed fleet information that makes a closed loop card so valuable to businesses with fleets, and allows your business to become more secure and efficient.
Open loop cards run on existing credit card networks. Open loop cards include consumer credit cards, debit cards, branded gift cards, and corporate credit cards. The network is able to capture general purchase information like date, time, merchant name and purchase total. Some corporate cards can capture details like merchant type, fuel grade and sales tax. The existing credit card network determines the data captured, which means these cards can’t record driver or vehicle IDs, or odometer readings.
Accomplish more with a closed loop card
Closed loop cards are specifically designed for businesses with fleets. The detailed data they capture allows your business to quickly achieve greater efficiency and security.
- Manage your fleet with purchase controls. Choose custom controls for each card or apply them across all your cards. Set rules around gallons per vehicle, gallons per day, dollars per transaction, product type, and many more. These controls take the responsibility of purchase decisions off employees and allow you to determine your spend upfront. Controls can be chosen and/or updated online twenty-four hours a day.
- Get a clear view of your fleet. You assign IDs to each driver and vehicle, allowing you to map purchasing and fueling patterns across your fleet. This helps to identify efficient vehicles and illuminate opportunities to improve miles per gallon or optimize your maintenance schedule.
- Reduce fraud. Closed loop cards, such as fleet cards, offer several unique features that reduce fraud and card abuse. Two-step authorization requires that drivers enter a vehicle or driver ID and an odometer reading before every purchase. Automatic pump shut-off means that fueling isn’t allowed beyond a predetermined dollar amount. Real-time alerts tell you via email or text when there are unusual or unauthorized purchases.
- Streamline reporting. The rich data captured by closed loop cards is only valuable when you can put it to use. That’s where online reports come in. You can easily run custom reports that show you crucial numbers based on your business. You can also schedule reports to be run daily, weekly, monthly, or by the time frame that works best for you. Reports are automatically sent to the email address you choose.
- Reduce administrative time. Fleet card data can be automatically sent to your back-end accounting software, eliminating the need for paper receipts. No more tracking down missing receipts and spending valuable time matching transactions to drivers. Fleet cards allow you to shift administrative resources to perform more profitable tasks.
Fuel and data — wherever you drive
Fleet cards, such as the ExxonMobil BusinessPro™ card, are accepted at over 95% of fuel stations nationwide with a 99.8% Level III data capture rate. No matter where your business goes, you have access to the fuel and data you need to run an efficient fleet.