Standard Bank Fleet Management, a division of financial services provider Standard Bank, reports that the introduction of its messaging service last month, will keep fleet operators up to date on transactions that involve their vehicles, improving logistical efficiencies.
The fleet management industry faces several challenges this year with priority being given to the long-anticipated e-tolls system that was introduced on December 3, last year; pending legislation regarding emissions; new technologies and the need to control fleet costs.
The SMS service alerts fleet managers every time a transaction is approved or declined at point of sale. It also provides information pertaining to where the transaction takes place, value of the transaction and the registration number of the vehicle on the forecourt. It provides real-time service with its primary use that of keeping operators’ fleets moving.
In the event of a transaction being declined, the manager can access the transaction authorisation website to find the reason for the decline and then take the necessary remedial action at any time, 24-hours a day.
In addition, the client has the ability and flexibility to designate who receives the SMS messages. Rather than loading one individual with all the information, the customer can route messages, which means that one designated person could receive all approved transactions, another all declined transactions and a third person could receive both approved and declined transactions.
Standard Bank Fleet Management head Dr David Molapo states that 2013 was the year in which the base was created for the assessment and introduction of new technologies for this year and beyond. “There is no doubt that these will be assessed by operators on their ability to streamline operations and manage costs,” he says.
Molapo notes, “Fleet managers will, this year know that we are able to manage open road toll fee payments as part of our offering. In addition, they will also be able to increase their personal mobility within their businesses knowing that they can be constantly in touch with their operations through our new SMS service for fuel, oil and repairs and maintenance transactions”.
Standard Bank Fleet Management offers the product at no additional charge to users of its fleet service products. “All that is required is that they register,” says Molapo. The request is processed immediately and reporting commences with the next transaction.
Backing this new service is the transaction authorisation website that will help with the efficient management of costs.
“Online authorisations may have brought the fleet industry into line with credit card technology, but already the industry is looking forward,” says Molapo, who predicts that the debate over the use of ‘chip and pin’ technology will continue to be a point of debate within the industry this year.
Molapo notes that the most asked question is whether the ‘chip and pin’ system commonly used in credit cards is best suited to the fleet industry. “Whether this technology will further advance the controls and benefits available through the real-time transaction approval system is still open to debate,” he says.
The major discussion will centre on whether the ‘chip and pin’ system is the ultimate system for securing online transactions, or if the current online authorisation system as applied by Standard Bank Fleet Management sufficiently addresses this concern.
Meanwhile, Standard Bank Fleet Management reports an upsurge in the number of fleet operators adopting Standard Bank Fleet’s ECO2Fleet product. It provides information on emissions and is based on the internationally accepted greenhouse gas reporting standards. “Several of these customers run businesses that are part of multinational companies and who routinely report on these matters in their corporate reports,” notes Molapo.
“Forward-looking fleet managers are now also introducing the ECO2Fleet service to prepare their departments for eventual changes to legislation. This will reduce the learning curve that will be required when carbon tax is introduced.
“What is not in question is that we are operating in a competitive market. As a leader in the fleet management sector, we will obviously monitor, assess and introduce fleet solutions on the basis of the value they add and the benefits they offer our customers,” Molapo concludes.