Fleet FAQ? Fuel Management

Q. Do you expect the future of fuel cards to be in mobile payment or in embedded vehicle payment?

March 2, 2018

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A. I think you will get both. It’s going to take a lot of time to change to just one solution.

Think about the day when you used to go through a toll booth and you handed somebody money. Then we moved to the basket where you threw the cash in. And we moved to E-ZPass. But there are still toll booths that have all three of them.

If you think about that, if you think about the replacement cycle of vehicles, if you think about the replacement cycle of POS devices, you’re 10 to 15 years out before we’ll be at the point there’s a critical mass to move to just one solution.

In that interim period, you might have some vehicles that may issue payments, some mobile devices that issue payments and you may still have a card as a backup, because the device may not be able to register, you may not have cell coverage. I think there will be a slow migration.

In the end, there will still be a need to track the asset. So there’s still a benefit to connect to the vehicle. Same for diagnostics. So it might go the other way, where all my address book is in my dash, so why wouldn’t my payments be there as well? So the car could have access to the phone’s payment solution. The car becomes the gateway.

Author Bio

Bernie Kavanagh

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Senior Vice President and General Manager

A 27-year fleet professional, Bernie Kavanagh currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet at WEX Inc. He joined the company in 1996 and his career has been a steady progression of increased sales and marketing responsibility. Kavanagh serves on industry related boards and is a frequent speaker at payment industry conferences focusing on fuel trends and technology in the payment space. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is an active member of NAFA, AFLA, NCSFA and AALA. Prior to joining WEX, Kavanagh held a number of roles with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Fleet Management.


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