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Smart Card Gives Fleet Owners More Control [LinkAGE / General Electric]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
LinkAGE: News about Electronic Commerce
General Electric

It’s the size of a credit card, it enables Brazil’s truckers to buy everything from gas and oil to meals, and it promises to save truck fleet owners thousands of dollars. This tiny technological wonder is the Bradesco Road Card—or, Cartao Rodoviario Bradesco.

And GE Information Services do Brasil, Ltda., together with Bradesco, the largest bank in South America, is launching it this fall. GE Information Ser-vices is providing the electronic data interchange (EDI) for the whole system, including gas stations, fleet owners, and banks.

Ruy Rede, general manager for GE Information Services do Brasil, says the product is designed to fill a kind of accounting gap in the trucking industry.

“Currently, when a fleet owner sends a truck out on to the road, he gives the driver money to cover travel expenses,” Rede explains. “But owners have no way to check if drivers are abusing the system.” With 1.2 million truckers on Brazilian roads, even a relatively small amount of fraud can add up to big losses.

Rede says this smart card will give owners greater control and, at the very least, help reduce fraud. Instead of giving truckers cash, owners give them a Road Card loaded with electronic funds. However, drivers can use it only to buy the necessary services, meals, and fuel for the assignment.

Other “smart” systems are on the way. For example, Bradesco plans to launch by early next year an EDI system that will give fleet owners even more financial control. The bank will hardwire an antenna and a microchip into thousands of trucks and hundreds of gas stations around Brazil. When a trucker buys gas, the antenna / microchip system will transmit data to die fleet owner about the amount of gas purchased, mileage, and even routing.

“Fleet owners will be able to increase productivity and reduce costs and fraud,” Rede says. “They will also be able to identify their best driver-s and find out who is wasting fuel, time, and money.”

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• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
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• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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