By Keith Reid

Launched last spring, Shell’s Fuel Rewards Pro provides an interesting enhancement to the traditional fleet card universe. It basically takes the consumer-focused Fuel Rewards program (facilitated by Excentus Corporation, a PDI company) and adds a few twists to serve as both a retail loyalty enhancer and a driver retention benefit free to the fleet operator.

“Among their many challenges, fleet managers were telling us that they were struggling with retaining their best drivers,” said Michelle Liu, driver loyalty and wholesaler programs manager for Shell Fleet Solutions, North America. “They were finding it difficult to hire good drivers, and they were looking for any tool that they could help them reward their drivers and make them feel like they’re being appreciated for their hard work.”

The Fuel Rewards Pro works in combination with the standard Fuel Rewards program. For the standard program, “Gold Status” members (which has period-and quantity-based fill up requirements to achieve and maintain) offers 5 cents per gallon savings on fueling (limited to 20 gallons per purchase), which can be combined with additional rewards with affiliates such as 10 cents per gallon from dining out, 15 cents per gallon by shopping online and another 20 cents per gallon for booking a flight. Silver status knocks it down to 3 cents per gallon in addition to any other rewards.

Fuel Rewards Pro members get the savings applied to their personal fill-ups up to 20 gallons using their  consumer Fuel Rewards ID. These rewards stack (both with subsequent fuelings and other earned rewards), further dropping prices. Additionally, drivers who enter their Pro ID can pump beyond the previously imposed twenty-gallon limit. The savings on their personal Fuel Rewards account can add up to a significant per-gallon savings.

The program is driver focused. The drivers register a Pro ID just as they would with a personal ID. The program does not track driver behavior and reporting and controls back to the fleet operator. However, it can work with existing fleet cards to provide both the driver reward component and the payment, tracking and controls components fleet operators appreciate.

Taking that a step further, Shell has  worked to directly integrate the program into WEX Fleet DriverDash, WEX’s mobile payment platform. This enables drivers to authorize a fuel transaction from inside their vehicles. It uses a device’s biometric capabilities to ensure security and documents the purchase electronically, creating a seamless, secure transaction. The driver can also register his or her Pro ID with the system to eliminate the added entry process.

DriverDash is now available at approximately 25,000 fueling locations across the United States, including  more than 13,000 Shell-branded service stations.

While the program is not fleet driven, Liu noted that it was not uncommon for fleets to come to them for support in working the program into their operations. Shell works closely with fleet managers to provide them with communication assets to be able to spread the word about fuel rewards. It similarly provides its retailers with promotional materials, as well as promoting Shell’s fleet solutions.

“We have a full marketing, sales and customer service team dedicated to fleets to help wholesalers and dealers grow,” said Liu. “In addition to Fuel Rewards Pro we have offers like our B-to-B program where we offer Fleet Navigator card customers a rebates and dealers and wholesalers are offering an additional rebate on top of that so together we are partnering up to attract fleets.”