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App puts power in the hands of fleet managers

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Standard Bank Fleet Management’s successful Transaction Authorisation system, which saved fleet managers more than R350-million in the last year, has spun off an iPhone IOS app called Fleet Authorisations.
Fleet managers are now in control of the fleet-card transactions of their entire fleet from their mobile phones, in realtime.
“One of the most urgent needs of a fleet manager is to know when someone is trying to commit fraud with one of the company’s fuel cards, and to be able to sort it out on the spot. Finding out tomorrow, or later today when you’re back at the office could simply be too late,” says Dr David Molapo, head of Standard Bank Fleet Management. “With our new Fleet Authorisations app, we have put this power into the pocket of the fleet manager – without adding to their administrative duties.”
The Fleet Authorisations iPhone app, which launches simultaneously with a mobi site to give the same power to fleet managers with Android phones, is the latest technological advancement in a system developed by Standard Bank Fleet Management that has drastically reduced fuel-card fraud in the fleets of its clients.
The system, which is available to fleet managers who use Standard Bank fleet cards, vets every fuel-card swipe automatically against 30 different criteria, for example it checks: Has the card been reported lost? Has the card been cancelled? Is the driver trying to buy more fuel than the tank capacity of the vehicle? Is the driver trying to fill up too often?
If a transaction oversteps any of the 30 parameters set for a specific card, the transaction is automatically declined and the fleet manager notified. It is then up to the fleet manager to decide whether to override the automatic decline by authorising the transaction.
“Until now, fleet managers were able to monitor all the transactions in real time on their PCs through the Transaction Authorisations website, where all declined transactions are flagged to make monitoring easy. To approve a declined transaction, fleet managers have had to contact a call centre,” Dr Molapo says.
The Fleet Authorisations  app improves the system in two ways. First, it frees fleet managers from having to sit by their PCs in order to keep their finger on the pulse of their fleet transactions. Now, they can be in total control even when they are out of the office.
Second, the fleet manager can approve a declined transaction through the app itself, without having to phone in to the call centre. “So drivers no longer have to spend unnecessary minutes waiting at forecourts to have their declined transactions approved,” says Dr Molapo.
The app works in tandem with a system of SMS alerts. A fleet manager can choose to receive a SMS alert either every time a transaction takes place, or only for those transactions that are declined. In the app, they will find the full details of each transaction: the vehicle, the service station where the transaction was attempted, and the reason for the decline.
The latest figures from Standard Bank’s Transaction Authorisation system shows that a total of R406 million’s worth of transactions were declined in 2015. This is  R117-million less than the year before, clearly showing that drivers are adapting to the stringent discipline of Transaction Authorisation.
Of the R406-million’s worth of declined transactions, fleet managers had subsequently approved transactions worth R55 million which were deemed valid, resulting in their direct savings of R351-million.
R8-million worth of the transactions were attempts at fraud, for instance using a stolen card, which is down from R12,3-million the year before.  This shows the extent to which fraud syndicates increasingly regard the system as too robust to scam.
Dr Molapo says that the Transaction Authorisation app is only one step on the path that Standard Bank has been pioneering to put fleet managers in complete charge of their fleet transactions.
The challenge is to empower the fleet manager without overwhelming them with too much information. “As always, we will be listening carefully to how our clients use the app, and with time, will improve it in order to continue to empower them even more,” says Dr Molapo.