1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background
I was born in London in 1964 and finished my education in Leeds with a degree in Biochemistry before starting my working life as a salesperson for ESSO Petroleum. I worked for ESSO for nearly 5 years before leaving to start UK Fuels in January 1990. At the beginning of 2013 we merged all our fuel card businesses together to form Radius Payment Solutions which is now one of Europe’s major industry operators. The company has developed over the last 10 years into an integrated mobility and connectivity business which now includes Telematics, Telecoms, Insurance and Vehicle Solutions. Most recently we have set up an EV division to help our customers take on the challenges of the transition to low carbon alternatives.
2. You have been a driving force in the fuel cards business for over 30 years, how has the industry changed and evolved during that time?
The business has changed enormously over the last 30 years with technology, in particular, becoming ever more important in all aspects of how we interact with our customers and develop our products and services. I started UK Fuels before the internet had arrived using the yellow pages and an old-fashioned phone to call customers to try and sell them our network. Now we have thousands of digital-only interactions a day where AI and the clever use of data are increasingly becoming the tools of success.
3. What the biggest misconception people have about the fuel card industry?
Personally, I think the biggest misconception is that people don’t really know that it exists and why it would exist. It’s a combination of offering a unique site network, leading edge customer reporting, spending controls, credit lines, pricing advantages and much more.
4. Your organisation, Radius Payment Solutions, is one of the three founders of FCE. What were the main drivers behind creating a European association?
Fuel card companies, of which there are hundreds across Europe, offer a unique range of services to millions of businesses of all sizes and types. We all face similar challenges, whether they be regulatory, technological or environmental, and I think that FCE offers a unique forum for us to put our position forward in a coordinated way.
5. What has the industry response to FCE been like?
The industry response has been really positive with nearly all the key companies wanting to be involved and give up their time and energy to make it a success. We expect to see the membership continue to grow as we progress through our first full year of operation.
6. What are the main issues that FCE is looking at right now and why?
The main issues are reflected in the topics selected for the initial three working groups – namely PSD2 (continuing to secure fuel card exceptions from personal payment regulations), fuel card tax treatment and sustainability. These are overarching topics that impact all industry players and developing well-reasoned industry positions helps benefit us all.
7. How is FCE membership benefiting your organisation?
Some of the challenges facing the industry are highly complex. This coupled with a multifaceted regulatory environment means that member organisations greatly appreciate working together to develop solutions and positions on these topics. By pooling our expertise and influence we believe all fuel card organisations, no matter their size, will benefit from FCE membership.
8. If we look five years ahead, what do you hope to have achieved?
Looking 5 years ahead, for FCE, I believe we will have become the preeminent voice in Europe for the fuel cards industry. Our members will continue to work in partnership to develop, and advocate for, workable solutions to whatever future challenges the sector may face. For my own company, Radius, through a combination of organic growth and selective acquisitions, I believe we will have fully transformed into a mobility and connectivity solutions provider in all our major markets. Through the development of our e-mobility programme we will have helped many of our customers navigate through the energy transition to a more sustainable future.
9. What are the most exciting developments you expect to see in the fuel cards industry in the coming years?
I believe most of the exciting fuel card developments will occur in the areas of technology and sustainability. The increasing digitisation of payments means that we will see a greater penetration of e-wallets and we hope Radius will be at the forefront of these developments. Fuel cards will play a vital role helping fleets manage fuel consumption and carbon offset during the energy transition and ultimately will help seamlessly integrate home and on-road charging.
10. How can interested parties become members of FCE?
We are always happy to have new members. We have two membership options. Full Membership is aimed at independent fuel card issuers in Europe and Associate Membership is aimed at companies and associations, as well as individuals connected to the industry. To become a member, or to know more about our membership options, you can contact us via the contact form on our website www.fleetcardseurope.com or email email@example.com