Fuel cards help businesses fuel their vehicles, document and analyze those fuel purchases, and limit exposure to unauthorized purchases. Legacy payment types such as debit cards, credit cards and cash lack the ability to restrict purchases or report on what businesses are spending on fuel. A fleet card allows operators to manage those purchases by assessing the data collected from every purchase and using it to ensure organizational policies are being followed. This efficiency also frees up administrative resources for higher-level tasks.
A closed-loop fuel card uses a network that allows the user to control the type of merchant where the card can be used, the type of products the card can purchase, and what time of day, day of the week, dollar amount, and frequency the card can be used.
With open-loop products such as a traditional purchasing card, the bank or issuer may not own the entire chain. So you might have an issuing bank, someone else doing the processing for you, another institution doing the billing. A closed-loop network, such as the one featured by WEX, is a proprietary network. WEX releases specifications to the merchants that accept the WEX card. That means, in this example, that WEX is the issuer, the processor, does the billing, issues the credit, and basically owns the entire chain.
That allows the fleet card provider to control what data is captured and what to do with it. It’s a more secure network, because data is not being passed to anybody before it comes back to the customer.