TORONTO, Ont. — The WEX Fleet Card, used by 315,000 customers representing seven million vehicles in the US, is coming to Canada and has its eyes set on the trucking industry here.
The company provides a fleet card that can be used across 10 fuel networks in the US and Canada for fuel and related purchases. It provides detailed reporting and fraud prevention features to help fleets reduce their total fuel spend. Because WEX designed and owns the back-end system, it says it’s able to provide Level III data – such as odometer readings and driver ID numbers – which fleets can use to better track their fuel purchasing behaviours.
“When we set out to develop a program in Canada, we tried to model it after what we did here in the US, which was a closed-loop proprietary program,” Bernie Kavanagh, vice-president, strategic accounts with WEX told Truck News in an interview. “Customers are able to put controls on what they buy, when they buy and where they buy and receive detailed reporting in near real-time, to allow folks to make good buying decisions.”
Customers can manage the types of purchases drivers are allowed to make beyond fuel (ie. oil, truck washes, etc.) They can also control when and where fuel can be purchased, preventing, for example, nighttime or weekend fuelling.
“The savings come in being able to better manage your program,” Kavanagh explained.
For drivers, the process is simple. With the WEX Fleet Card in hand, they can purchase fuel at any approved location. Drivers are assigned an ID number so the fleet managers can ensure fuel is being purchased only be authorized users.
Currently, WEX has a robust US customer base consisting of light- and heavy-duty vehicle users as well as mixed fleets. It acquired Fleet One several years ago, which was a trucking fleet card specialist. WEX said it identified Canada as a good growth opportunity because many of its US customers were already doing business here and several of its fuelling partners (such as Esso) have locations in Canada.
“The reason we’re focusing on Canada right now is in support of our customers and partners,” Kavanagh said. “For years, we’ve been talking about having a more robust program there, so a lot of this really has been just following our customers and partners.”
While the WEX Fleet Card is billed as a universally accepted fleet fuel card, truck fleets will notice the major truck stop chains are absent from the list of fuel merchants. This could be an issue considering drivers appreciate the trucker amenities (ie. weigh scales and showers) offered at these locations.
Kavanagh noted its list of fuel partners is still growing and more recognizable fuel merchants will soon be added.
“We have 10 merchants signed up now, representing 2,500-3,000 sites at this point,” he said. “We are working with all merchants at this point, working with the networks to make sure we can get on their schedule for their upgrades. We want to get as much acceptance as we can.”
Current fuel merchants include: Centex; Crevier; Esso; GasKing; Mr. Gas; Pioneer; 7-Eleven; Western Petroleum; Wilsons; and XTR.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies