U.S. Bank is launching a single-use account solution for fuel management. How will that work and what impact it will have on people who already have U.S. Bank Voyager® Fleet Card?
The way that the product will work is that a customer will go a location where a U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Card is not accepted. Then this product will allow them to basically transact on a MasterCard fleet product. It is a single-use account solution, it’s a virtual product but it actually uses MasterCard rails in the background. So, a customer will go to a merchant; that merchant will call us and they will retrieve a single-use account number that can only be used for that transaction. Then we will marry-up that transaction with the Voyager Fleet transaction information so they can see all of their transaction information in one place.
What is the future of mobile technology in the fleet payment space?
I think the fleet space is pretty similar to what we are doing with the single-use account solution. We envision being able to generate single-use accounts on a mobile device. So, in the scenario above where a merchant does not accept the U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Card, instead of calling into a customer service operations center to retrieve a single-use account number, the number would actually be available on your mobile device. It would generate a single-use account number so that the person trying to transact can actually give that number to the attendant verses the attendant calling in to retrieve a number through an operations center. That is one of the things we see in mobile.
We certainly see fuel price locators and those are beginning to become a little bit broader from the perspective of the types of things that you can do; not only looking up fuel prices but also some of the amenities that that particular location may offer. They might have certain types of discounts or promos that they might want to tie into it. You could do that through the mobile phone as well, using a bit of Near Field Communications and some geo mapping: imagine yourself pulling up to a gasoline station and you could see an offer for donuts or for coffee in addition to the fact that they have got a lower price per gallon.
What sort of advances have we seen when it comes to fleet card data reporting and where is that trending in the future?
Fleet card data reporting is critical to the fleet manager — and one of the things that we are doing, certainly, with the single-use account solution is being able to combine all of the data in one place. I think that the key point is giving a single repository of that data for that particular customer. You are offering level III data, which provides all of the controls with the vehicle ID and the driver ID and the odometer, in addition to the fact that you have other transactional information using that single-use account number all in one place. I think having that one single repository is critical and being able to manage that particular portfolio all in one place is the ideal scenario for any fleet customer.
The mainstream press has focused on card security since the Target breach. What kinds of security concerns face commercial fleet program managers and what is their response to that?
Security is of utmost importance, and once again that gets back to controls within the fleet environment. We have the vehicle ID, the driver ID and the odometer. Another one of the other things that U.S. Bank is working on and will be launching soon is what we refer to as payment analytics. That entails monitoring for misuse and abuse, where a fleet manager could actually build rules to associate with how they wish that card to be used within the fleet environment. It’s very similar to what you do within the purchasing card environment or corporate card environment where you establish certain rules for the way in which you want that card to be used.
Similar to that within the fleet industry, we would have that same type of payment analytics tool which would reduce the ability for fraudulent activity to occur on that card by “flagging” instances of unauthorized or out-of-policy spending. We are doing all of the standard security and controls associated with the card in addition to having this kind of black box in the background for adding misuse and abuse parameters and controls that can be established and set up for their entire fleet or for certain fleet drivers.
What do you see in the near future?
One of the things that U.S. Bank is looking at is a telematics solution. We’re in the process of piloting this with a very large corporation that’s an existing customer of ours here in the U.S. One of the reasons why we think we are going to differentiate ourselves in the market with this solution is that we are pairing up the fleet data with the telematics data. If you can envision a driver pulling up to a location where you know where they are located because of the GPS and telematics device in the vehicle and you also swipe a card at that location. For example, you could determine whether or not a vehicle might be ten miles away versus where they actually swiped the transaction, which would indicate fraudulent behavior or a stolen vehicle or something to that affect. Being able to tie the two together is very powerful as far as the actual car transaction data in addition to the telematics data.
For the single-use account solution, we are in the process of piloting that for a very large public sector entity. They see the benefit of being able to go to more rural locations where The U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Card might not be accepted at a maintenance location, for example, and being able to broaden the maintenance acceptance locations throughout the U.S. by way of the Master Card rails that that product effectively rides. That provides us with a broader footprint within the U.S.
Currently, we have approximately 230,000 fueling and maintenance locations on the U.S. Bank Voyager Network. Through the use of single-use account numbers, we add another 600,000 locations that are accepting MasterCard within the U.S. It broadens the reach of the product while also combining all the security and the features of the level three data with the product, putting it all in one place for the customer to be able to view and also to report on.
With the telematics pilot that we are working on, you actually scan the barcode on the door jamb so that there is a driver check-in to the vehicle, so you do know when they check in and you do know when they check out. That is a key feature as far as knowing when the driver is actually on the road, when they are supposed to be on the road according to the hours that fleet manager has established for that driver.
Appointed to his position in January 2013, Ramel Lindsay oversees strategy, profitability and product development for U.S. Bank’s fleet programs, including the U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Card for Class 1–6 cars and light-duty trucks as well as its Over The Road (OTR) cards for Class 7–8 heavy duty trucks.
Lindsay joined U.S. Bank in February 2011 as fuel card product manager and also served as senior group product & program officer. Before that, he spent seven years with MasterCard Worldwide in technology account management and customer relations. His responsibilities included developing and implementing business solutions for MasterCard’s U.S. regional accounts with gross dollar volume exceeding $15B annually. In 2010 he was recognized with the MasterCard Worldwide Sales Blazers Award for exceptional sales performance.
Prior to MasterCard, Lindsay was an executive-level consultant for British Petroleum. His accomplishments included developing BP’s strategic plan to target new wholesale Jobber accounts for branded motor fuel; providing competitive intelligence, targeted customer program research, wholesale and retail fuel pricing and margin analysis; developing international convenience store benchmarking and gap analysis; and facilitating Fleetcor Technologies’ acquisition of BP’s 500 million gallon fleet card business.
Lindsay has a bachelor’s degree in English from Colorado College and a law degree from Saint Louis University Law School.