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Global Fuel Card Market Research Report Forecast to 2027
The global fuel cards market had a value of USD 743.71 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2021 to 2027.
Fuel cards, also known as fleet cards, are payment cards primarily used for purchasing petrol, diesel, and other fuels at gas stations. They can also be utilized for vehicle maintenance and expenses at the discretion of fleet owners or managers. Most fuel cards function as charge cards and offer convenient and comprehensive reporting features. Fleet owners/managers can receive real-time reports and set purchasing controls on their cards, facilitating efficient tracking of business expenses. These cards are typically issued by a single company, limiting their usage to specific locations owned, operated, or franchised by the issuer. Similar to regular payment cards, fuel cards display engraved or laser-printed details such as the card number, expiration date, company name, and authorized user’s name in some instances. Modern cards may include a small chip on the front and a magnetic strip on the back to facilitate usage at point of sale (POS) terminals.
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USD 743.7 billion in 2019
Type, vehicle Type, Applications, and Region
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Major oil and gas companies like Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Texaco are dominant players in the fleet card market. Typically, businesses using these cards are restricted to the card issuer’s websites. However, emerging payment technologies aim to provide innovative solutions across various industries, with a particular focus on the transportation sector. Many service providers have expanded their offerings, including Fleetcor, a fleet card payment service provider that collaborates with companies such as MasterCard, Fleet Cards USA, The Fuel Card Company, and Fuelman to offer corporate fleet card products. Fleetcor also partners with businesses in the transportation industry to provide modern fleet payment solutions, simplifying accounting processes for carriers.
The growth of the fuel card market is driven by the increasing demand for effective fuel management and the adoption of digital transaction solutions in the transportation sector. Improved data capture and streamlined fleet administration further contribute to market expansion. However, the market is hindered by security concerns that limit its potential growth. Integration of telematics with fuel cards and rising demand from developing countries present lucrative opportunities for market growth.
Fleet owners have become increasingly focused on optimizing fleet management to reduce unnecessary expenses. Fuel cards play a vital role in this regard by enabling tracking of non-fuel purchases, setting spending limits, preventing unauthorized purchases, and providing real-time actionable insights. Both drivers and fleet owners benefit from these cards, which also eliminate manual tasks like auditing and submitting receipts and may lead to lower fuel prices for corporate entities. The growing preference for digital transaction solutions, such as mobile wallets, prepaid cards, and contactless payments, among consumers drives the demand for fuel cards. Additionally, the increasing adoption of virtual currencies contributes to the growing demand for fuel cards.
Furthermore, several governments are actively promoting cashless societies, while the proliferation of smartphone applications for online transactions further fuels market expansion. Fuel cards assist fleet vendors by gathering detailed information on vehicle mileage, fuel consumption, and maintenance requirements. Service providers are increasingly integrating telematics interfaces and robust reporting capabilities into their standard offerings to enhance fleet management productivity. Various types of fuel cards, including merchant cards, brand-specific fuel cards, and universal fuel cards, cater to different needs. The integration of telematics with fuel cards and the rising demand from emerging economies are expected to drive significant market growth.
The transportation sector’s adoption of digital transaction solutions is crucial for improving fuel management, making it the primary driver of the fuel card market. Fuel cards enable tracking of individual vehicle and driver fuel economy and provide high-quality data on fuel purchases. Additionally, fuel card discounts motivate drivers and fleet managers to use fuel cards instead of credit cards, contributing to the overall revenue of the fuel card market.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including type, vehicle type, applications, and region.
Fuel Card Type
Business Fuel Card
Individual Fuel Card
Prepaid Fuel Card
Fuel Card Vehicle Type
Fuel Card Application
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Rest of Europe
Asia-Pacific – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Rest of Asia-Pacific
Rest of the World – Middle East, Africa, Latin America
The segmentation of the Fuel Card Market is based on type, vehicle type, application, and region. The market is dominated by the business fuel card segment, which caters to companies managing fuel costs for their fleets. Business fuel cards offer centralized payment management, simplified expense tracking, and potential cost savings.
In terms of vehicle type, the heavy fleet category generates the most income. Fuel cards enable businesses to monitor and control fuel costs for their large fleets of heavy vehicles. Detailed information about fuel purchases is recorded electronically, allowing for greater control and reduced chances of misuse or excessive fuel consumption.
The fuel refill category is the largest in terms of application. Fuel cards are widely used for refilling at gas stations, leading to an increase in transaction values. For example, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited launched the HPCL HP Refuel program, which provides a complete fuel management solution with control, security, convenience, and reward points.
Geographically, North America dominates the fuel card market due to growing consumer preference for digital payment methods and government initiatives promoting cashless transactions. Europe holds the second-largest market share, driven by the presence of major players and rapid adoption of payment technology. The German fuel card market holds the largest share in Europe, while the UK market is the fastest-growing.
The Asia-Pacific fuel card market is expected to grow at the fastest rate. Booming IT infrastructure and significant investments from private and public players contribute to this growth. China has the largest market share in the region, while India has the fastest-growing market.
Leading market players are making substantial investments in research and development to expand their product portfolios, thereby fostering further growth in the fuel card market. These participants are also engaging in various strategic initiatives to expand their global presence. Notable market developments include the launch of new products, contractual agreements, mergers and acquisitions, increased investments, and collaborations with other organizations. In an increasingly competitive and evolving market landscape, the fuel card industry must offer cost-effective solutions to expand and thrive.
One of the key business tactics employed by manufacturers in the global fuel card industry is local manufacturing to minimize operational costs and enhance client benefits, consequently boosting their market share. Over the years, the fuel card industry has delivered significant advantages. Major players in the fuel card market, such as Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands), ExxonMobil (U.S.), BP (U.K.), Fleetcor Technologies Inc. (U.S.), WEX Inc. (U.S.), Oilibya (Libya), Puma Energy (Singapore), Engen Limited (South Africa), First National Bank (U.S.), British Petroleum (U.K.), Fuelman (U.S.), Shell (Netherlands), Spc (Singapore), and others, strive to stimulate market demand through their investments in research and development endeavors.
Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands), a multinational group of energy and petrochemical companies, employs over 90,000 individuals across more than 70 countries. It seeks to contribute to the development of a sustainable energy future by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and adopting innovative strategies. With a focus on meeting the increasing global demand for cleaner and more abundant energy sources, Shell operates within ethical, economic, environmental, and social frameworks. The company’s core values of honesty, integrity, and respect for people serve as guiding principles for all its employees. Adhering to the company’s general business principles, code of conduct, and ethics and compliance manual, Shell employees act in accordance with these ideals while complying with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
BP (U.K.) is committed to reimagining energy for the well-being of people and the planet, striving to contribute to achieving a net-zero future. Through its operations across Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Asia, and Africa, BP provides energy solutions globally. The organization is driven by three fundamental ideas that inspire its members to give their best every day.
Recent Industry Developments
In May 2022, Confidence Petroleum India was awarded a contract by Central U.S. to construct and operate CNG MRUs (Mobile Refueling Units) for compressed natural gas (CNG). The joint venture between GAIL and Bharat Petroleum Corporation, known as CUGL, will facilitate the efficient distribution of CNG fuel in specific regions.
In January 2022, WebEx Inc. acquired Go Fuel Card, the fuel card division of EG Group. With its headquarters in the Netherlands, Go Fuel Card operates approximately 200,000 proprietary cards across Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. This acquisition allowed WEX Inc. to expand its presence in desirable markets and enhance its card acceptance capabilities through a proprietary card network, thereby strengthening its position in Europe.
Key Questions Answered
What is the valuation of the fuel card market?
What is the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the fuel card market?
Which region has the highest market share in the fuel card market?
Who are the main players in the fuel card market?
Which type of fuel card dominates the market?