Paul Holland, MD of UK Fuel, Allstar Business Solutions spoke to Payment Expert, underlining just how significant efficient payments are on the motor industry as well how the budget will impact the sector in 2021.
PaymentExpert: Can you tell us more about Fleetcor and how the firm is changing motorist payments?
Paul Holland: At the most basic level, Fleetcor is a company that provides payment cards to companies to use to pay for fuel or other expenses. If you look more closely, you can see that the service we offer is streamlining the process of paying for business essentials, saving companies money and reducing the time spent dealing with expense payments.
We also allow companies to view their costs in real-time, giving them much greater control and perspective than they would have through traditional ways of managing expenses. For employees, it means no more submitting receipts and waiting until payday for your money back, for business owners it means savings on administration.
PE: What are your immediate reactions to the budget and its impact on the sector?
PH: On the whole the budget has been positive. We are very happy that fuel duty will be frozen at least until 2022, since fuel duty currently makes up 47 per cent of what consumers pay at the pump. Any reduction in this is going to be positive, particularly at a time when the strong pound is driving down what our customers pay for fuel. It was also encouraging to see that greater emphasis is being placed on he UK hitting its carbon emissions goals, as this is something our customers are increasingly aware of, with many beginning to switch to all-electric fleets.
PE: Does the budget increase the importance of efficient payments within the motor sector?
PH: The budget lets companies make savings at the pump, and our message to any business with a fleet of vehicles is to build upon those savings by making payments more efficient. There’s no reason to save money in one area then give it away in another, which is why having efficient systems to deal with expenses is so important.
PE: Has the pandemic changed the appetite and the landscape for fuel card payments?
PH: Absolutely. Companies are coming to understand that they can’t have inefficiencies in their processes just because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’, since at any time there could be a major event that significantly reduces profits. Paying for fuel is far from the only place where companies can save money, but it is a significant and often overlooked one, and we’re glad that events have helped to put a focus on this.