A fuel card is a payment card used for gasoline, diesel, and other fuels at gas stations. These cards can also be used as payment for vehicle maintenance and expenses. The fuel card is similar to a credit card, and also works in a similar way. More than 50% of the Western Europe vehicles do not possess a fuel card. It was estimated that over 23,000 new fuel cards will be issued by the year 2021. Then the total cards being used in Western Europe would reach 1,240,248 cards. All fuel cards provide commercial business-to-business fuel card volume and are split by fleet and CRT. These cards also exhibit the market value and market share on independent and oil company card issuers and fuel card competition in Western Europe.
Fleet card or fuel card volume in Ireland is sure to decline by the year 2021. Esso is the leading and largest fuel card operator in Luxembourg along with Shell being the largest CRT card operator. In Netherlands and Slovenia, the number of service stations increased. Fuel card volumes will increase drastically in Switzerland by the year 2021. The leading companies in the fuel cards market in Western Europe are AS24, Agip (Eni), Aral, BP, Circle K,OKQ8, DKV, Esso, MOL, Neste, OMV, Q8, ROUTEX, Shell, St1, TOTAL, Teboil and UTA.
According to the research report “FUEL CARDS IN EUROPE, WESTERN MARKETS 2016”, it was observed that the number of fuel cards in Southern Europe has increased in the recent years. In Greece, the total number of service stations declined with a downfall in the fuel cards. However, in Portugal the fuel card volumes account for the total fuel sold by the year 2021 and with the increase in the fuel cards market. Foreign fuels cards will hold a major share in Northern Europe by the year 2021. It is expected that the Central and Eastern European commercial fuel cards with takeover the fuel cards business from the domestic operators. Denmark’s service stations declined over the past few years. Finland has prepared to issue 910,952 new fuel cards by the year 2021. In the Czech Republic, the total number of service stations has been declining from the past years. Estonia is all set to issue over 5,000 new fuel cards by the year 2021, totalling to 92,212 fuel cards.
Western Europe provides international fuel cards to operate outside the country with flexible fuel card offerings. These international cards are used to pay for tolls and Eurovignettes on all major roads. This card reduces the need for drivers to carry cash and smooth journey worldwide with full tank fuel. The international fuel card covers major trunk roads and key border crossings, along with spanning a range of branded sites.
Europe is expected to dominate the global fuel card market over the coming years. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the European Union shows a drastic downfall in the recent years. The GDP of the European Union is depicted in the below graph. With the new trends in the fuel card market, it is estimated that the market will grow slowly and will continue a positive growth in the coming years.
The leading competitors in the global fuel cards market are British Petroleum, WEX Inc., FLEETCOR and, Royal Dutch Shell. A wide variety of fuel cards are available in the global market with different features and specifications. The common fuel cards available globally are Branded Fuel Cards, Universal Fuel Cards and, Merchant Branded Cards.
A slight growth was observed in the global fuel card market and it is expecting a positive growth by the year 2021. Global consumers demand for cashless fuel transactions which are directly leading to the growth in the fuel cards market. Fuel cards face few challenges such as rising competition from new competitors, changing legal framework, volatile oil prices, rising consumer expectations, many more factors.
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