U.S. Bank’s Ramel Lindsay: Significant Advances for Fleet Cards are Here

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.

 

BIO

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.

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