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6 Oct 2009

One of the distinguishing features of fuel card against credit card is the limited fraud susceptibility of fuel cards. While security enhancement on cards is an ongoing process, we need to understand that a fuel card comes with something that offers a lot of satisfaction for the subscribers. This is because a fuel card does not divulge any of your banking details and hence isolates your banking details from the fuel card.

Since, fuel cards are a niche product that appeal to a niche-audience, it is easy to limit its exposure and hence reduce the chances of financial frauds. Unlike a credit card, which if stolen, can cause havoc in your life, a fuel card offers only the free fuel to the guy who stole it. So, professional card thieves do not have any kind of an incentive to steal a fuel card while a credit card offers them more inducement to do so.

Having said that, security of fuel card is controlled by the smartchip. We know that we can control fuel card dispensation by virtue of fuel type, vehicle identifier or driver identifier. And, this essentially means the fuel card is less prone to financial irregularities than other financial instruments.

Not stopping at the current security setup that is built-in the fuel cards, fuel suppliers are working overtime to adopt a real-time authentication for fuel transactions that are made with fuel cards. This is based on the PIN number. So, while getting the vehicle re-fuelled there is a real-time authorization of the PIN number. This, essentially, adds a 2nd leg of security to the fuel cards to ensure that all transactions go through PIN authentication, alongside the chip identification. BP and Esso have already implemented this in their fuel cards. Infact, BP has already implemented PIN on 400,000 cards. More suppliers are integrating PIN authorizations for fuel cards in the near future.

While the overall financial risks are already limited to misuse of fuel in the case of fuel cards rather than the entire credit line in the case of credit cards, PIN and chip will assist in settling the security apprehensions of folks who are committed to 100% security on financial instruments.


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