Your business keeps you busy enough without having to worry about fuel card fraud. Unfortunately, as fuel costs go up and thieves become emboldened, it’s a growing concern with the potential to drain your profits. When mileage figures don’t match up with your odometer, fuel charges exceed your vehicle’s maximum fuel capacity, or you’re seeing receipts for fuel that your vehicle doesn’t take, it’s a sure sign that there’s a problem.
How does fuel fraud affect your business bottom line?
Fuel fraud can pop up in a number of ways. You may be dealing with employees committing internal fraud, filling up their personal vehicles, sharing each other’s PINs, or using company cars and trucks for non-business use. You could be a victim of external fraud: skimming is a high-tech form of fraud where a skimmer machine is placed on the card slot of a fuel pump so it can collect credit card numbers, ZIP codes, and other sensitive information. When gas prices rise, fleets are even vulnerable to thieves siphoning gas out of vehicle gas tanks.
There’s a good chance that your vulnerability is tied to shortcomings in the fuel card you’re using. While traditional fleet cards are generally limiting, smart fuel cards like those offered by Coast have features that make fuel payments easy while providing smarter security and controls.
Fuel card features that prevent fuel fraud
SMS check-in process
While legacy card systems suggest allocating fuel cards and prompting drivers to enter personal identification numbers, it’s all too easy for drivers to share and misuse these PINS. Coast’s cards are fully interchangeable and can be assigned to whatever driver and vehicle you wish through its online portal. Additionally, you also can assign your cards to your drivers’ phones and have them request a code via SMS to unlock the card.
This process confirms your driver’s identity and flags them as the user every time the card is used, so there’s no risk of PIN sharing or stealing. That means that even if one of your cards gets stolen or skimmed, the thief would not be able to complete any transactions without the phone associated with the card.
If you’ve been paying attention to your credit cards over the last few years, you may have noticed that more and more of them have small gold squares included in their design. These emblems are EMV microchips that defeat skimmers by creating a unique key every time the card is used. This technology makes it harder for card information to be copied and stolen and for cards to be counterfeited. All Coast cards contain these chips for your protection.
Customized controls and spend limits
Your fuel card should adapt to your business needs, particularly as it relates to spending rules and categories. With the Coast portal, you can set policies on how much, how often, and where individual drivers, departments, or vehicles can use a card, and send out real-time exception alerts anytime there’s an anomalous use of the card.
Fuel tank capacity
For an added layer of security, you can add your vehicles’ fuel tank capacity within the Coast portal to ensure fuel transactions are only being used for company vehicles. Every time your card is used to purchase fuel, Coast will retrieve the number of gallons for the transaction and match it with the tank capacity of the vehicle assigned to the card, when available. If the number of gallons exceeds the tank capacity, the transaction will be flagged for review.
Beyond the security of the fuel card itself, Coast’s fuel card integrates seamlessly with fleet management and telematics tools to allow you to analyze odometer and GPS data, telematics, fuel tank monitoring, and other smart features to ensure that you are alerted to misuse and fraud involving your fuel card.
If fuel fraud has you spending hours reconciling suspicious transactions, consider the features above a checklist in evaluating your next fuel card program. With the right safeguards in place, your fuel card can go from a time suck to a tool that helps supercharge your growth.