Whether it’s visiting clients, travelling to different company sites, or meeting service users, travel has always been an essential part of business. But recent fuel cost increases, concerns about environmental impact, and digitisation of business processes mean that companies need new and better ways to track and manage their fleets and travel expenses.
Historically, businesses have managed petrol and other driving expenses using credit cards, brand-specific fuel cards, or by asking employees to pay out of pocket and then organise reimbursements. While these methods get employees out on the road, they all come with unique drawbacks.
Asking employees to pay for their expenses allows them to cover the costs they need to, but it also leaves them out of pocket until finance teams can sort and pay their reimbursements. With fuel costs still running high, this can have a big impact on employees’ personal finances. Add the possibility of expensive repairs, and it’s possible that an individual wouldn’t have the funds to cover these costs at all. Routinely asking employees to cover large purchases can build resentment over time. And, if businesses want to monitor their fuel consumption or fleets, employees also need to spend time logging their mileage via a separate process. All of which negatively impacts their work experience.
Credit cards are accepted at millions of petrol stations around the world, so they may seem like a good option for employees who drive. They give employees the freedom to spend, but they don’t give finance teams full control or visibility over exactly what’s being spent, where. They don’t allow managers to restrict purchases by geographical location, spend category or merchant type. And they don’t give teams the flexibility to set different cards up in different ways. Delivery drivers, sales reps, and regional managers are set up in the same way, despite spending in very different ways.
Brand-specific fuel cards seem like a smart alternative as they allow finance teams to control exactly what employees can spend on. These cards allow individuals to pay only at specific branded petrol stations, so finance teams get the level of control they need. But they don’t give drivers the flexibility they need when travelling. If employees are forced to stop at a non-branded or competitor petrol station, they can’t use their card. And they also can’t use it to cover repairs, tolls, and other regular travel expenses.
With pre-paid fuel cards, like those offered by Soldo, you get the right combination of control and flexibility to manage budgets while empowering drivers to spend responsibly. Instead of being limited to one specific brand, these pre-paid cards can be used like a Mastercard at any petrol station. This means employees aren’t forced to waste time and fuel as they search around for specific stations.
Unlike credit cards, Soldo cards allow you to set detailed spending limits by location, spending category, or merchant type. This means you could allow an employee who sometimes visits clients to spend on fuel only, while a van driver would also be able to purchase food or drinks while out on the road. As employees enter spend information and take a photo of their receipt at the point of purchase, they don’t need to worry about extra admin. And finance teams get all the information they need to analyse spending by category. So, it’s easy to see exactly who much is being spent on fuel vs vehicle maintenance, meals, tolls, and more.
And no one needs to worry about the manual admin that reimbursements produce. Everything is captured as employees spend, so there’s no chasing lost receipts or missing information at month end. Finance teams get a real-time view of fuel and travel expenses – giving them a simply way to monitor their fleet without needing separate processes. Employees aren’t left out of pocket as auto top-ups or instant fund transfers mean that cards always have the funds that employees need.