Online authorisations block R130-m of fraudulent transactions

2014-07-25 12:52
Dr David Molapo, head of Fleet Management at Standard Bank: “Fleet managers have to radically improve the efficiency of their operations.”

Standard Bank Fleet Management’s transaction authorisation system is geared to save fleet managers another record amount this year with early 2014 figures indicating that the system, which automatically checks each fleet card transaction and declines those that look suspicious, has already saved fleet managers a massive R130-million by blocking fraudulent transactions.

This is already more than half of last year’s total savings of R232-million as well as the R224-million worth of savings in 2012. “These massive savings could not have come at a better time for South African fleet managers who have had to deal with heavy increases in the fuel price,” says Dr David Molapo, head of Fleet Management at Standard Bank.

Standard Bank Fleet Management figures show that fuel costs have increased by no less than 73% over the past four years. “Under these circumstances, fleet managers have to radically improve the efficiency of their operations,” says Dr Molapo.

Transaction authorisation, which is available at no additional charge to fleet managers who use Standard Bank fleet cards, vets every fleet transaction automatically against 30 different criteria, for example:

  • Has the card been reported lost?
  • Has the card been cancelled?
  • Is the driver trying to buy more fuel than the tank capacity of the vehicle?
  • Is the driver trying to fill up too often?


If a transaction oversteps any of the 30 parameters set for a specific card, the transaction will be declined. Should a driver wish to have the declined transaction overridden, the fleet supervisor will be notified and can override the block if the driver provides a satisfactory explanation.

Out of the total R146-m worth of transactions automatically declined so far this year, fleet supervisors have only approved transactions worth R16-m upon investigation. This means that the vast majority of transactions declined by the system – R130-m so far this year – are direct saving.

A closer look at the figures reveals that internal fraud and pilfering by drivers dramatically overshadows the risks that external fraud poses to South African fleets. Only R3.5-m worth of transactions declined by the system this year were linked to attempts at using fraudulent or stolen cards, compared to R126-m worth of declined transactions attempted by drivers.

“However, the days of drivers filling up their personal vehicles with the company fleet card are numbered,” says Dr Molapo.

Standard Bank’s transaction authorisation system provides every fleet manager with access to every transaction immediately as it happens. Fleet managers can log on to a website where every transaction is listed in real time, with declined transactions highlighted.

An SMS service built into the system means that fleet managers can track transactions even when they are not at their desk. Soon a mobile application, currently under development, will allow fleet managers to approve or override declined transactions from their smart phones.

For those fleet managers who want to avoid data-overload, the system automatically generates reports summarising the day’s transactions.

“In the current environment of rapidly rising fleet costs, it is not surprising that the take-up of Standard Bank’s transaction authorisation system by fleet managers is rising even faster,” says Dr Molapo.

Almost 3 000 of Standard Bank’s fleet management customers access the website to manage more than 90 000 vehicles – a 56% year-on-year increase.


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