The U.S. Bank Voyager card program has been a resource for fleet operations since the 1980s, gaining acceptance at 97% of all U.S. gas stations and locations for maintenance, food, and hotels.
"When you think about all the purchase decisions drivers need to make on the road, their financial provider needs to be a part of a network that is accessible wherever that fleet is moving shipments," said Jeff Pape, senior vice president and director of product and marketing for transportation at U.S. Bank USB.
In the Voyager card program, carriers also have expense visibility tools to help fleet owners manage driver expenses with pre-negotiated fuel discounts, maintenance, and repair solutions that are centralized into one interface.
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While its customers found these tools proactive for gauging day-to-day costs, many of U.S. Bank's fleet partners had difficulties managing their cross-border activities.
"We started to talk with our cross-border customers about what they needed from us internationally," said Pape. "A lot of them are crossing the border multiple times a week and occasionally have issues with finding maintenance and fuel locations, especially for unplanned emergency situations."
Last week, U.S. Bank announced it had partnered with Mastercard to offer a new card service that opens the Voyager fleet program to fuel, toll road, parking, hotel, food, and maintenance locations in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories and international locations.
The U.S. Bank Voyager Mastercard enables fleet owners to manage all of their costs in one place and gives them visibility and control of international expenses, said Pape.
"Integrating all of the transactions into one place helps managers make better decisions for their fleet without having those decisions left to the driver," Pape told Freightwaves.
"If the driver doesn't know what is wrong with his truck and pulls into a garage, a lot of times there is a list of recommendations given to the driver that isn't always accurate. As part of our solution, managers are able to set maintenance spending rules, taking those decisions off the driver to let them focus on driving safely and delivering on time."
Partnering with Mastercard MA also adds new benefits to the Voyager program, including rental insurance and on-demand travel assistance.
Expanding Voyager's domestic and international network can be extremely helpful for fleets servicing natural disaster regions that often experience a restaurant, hotel, and travel center closures.
"In times of natural disasters, you find an increase in purchases of fuel, maintenance, food and hotels for drivers," said Pape. "That is a big component of this partnership with Mastercard. Many of our current customers need help routing their fleets during those times."
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