Mercator Blog

Fleet Cards Still Have Room to Grow in the U.S. Commercial Credit Card Market According to New Research Report
Date: August 1, 2017
Steve Murphy
Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service
The commercial card industry includes what can be described as some major product segments, of which fleet cards (also generally known as fuel cards) are a component part, albeit a unique one that we categorize under specialty cards or solutions. Mercator Advisory Group normally defines commercial cards from the perspective of mid-to-large market buyers (the end users of the card payment products) and reports regularly on the credit-related major branded networks and issuers of corporate and purchasing card-related products. Since fleet card is a unique segment of the overall space, it is defined differently by different issuers so we track it separately.

Fleet card issuers have certain common competitive targets and issuer focus (i.e., purchase volume, number of cards issued, and number of vehicles), and the nature of the fleet card market is such that many proprietary measures are also used, particularly by closed-loop issuers. These measures add to the complexity of any analysis of this segment.

Mercator Advisory Group last measured the fleet card market in March 2015, examining 2014 data and using a comprehensive definition of commercial fleet in a report titled U.S. Fleet Card Market: The Need for Competitive Differentiation. Because many of the fundamental industry definitions and market dynamics remain mostly unchanged, they are not revisited in the present report.

In the present report, we review the current market size of the major network players. After a comparison of the fleet card market to the other segments of the U.S. commercial credit card market, the focus turns to the evolving needs of commercial fleets. We analyze the current position of the major networks supporting fleet cards in the United States. The report also addresses some of the key factors that have an impact on the fleet market now and into the future, providing insights into variables that concern fleet executives.

The analysis contained in this report, The U.S. Fleet Card Market Still Has Legs, focuses on the U.S. market and in many cases may be applicable to the broader North American continent. The major proprietary network operators continue to expand their international focus, setting up partnerships and business exploration in Europe, Asia, and South America. We will address the nuances of these markets in other ongoing research.