Are CFN and Cardlock Cards Credit Cards?

Cardlock Cards

Cardlock Cards

The differences Between CFN, Cardlock Cards and Credit Cards

It’s plastic, it has a mag strip, it may even have a chip, so what is the difference between your credit cards, CFN and cardlock cards? Here at SCL we have encountered more than once a situation where a fleet manager gets caught up thinking that their fuel cards are equal to credit cards, carrying high levels of fraud protection. This is not the case, and fleet managers need to be crystal clear about their card parameters, their financial responsibilities and should not just operate on autopilot. Cardlock cards do not carry the same level of protection that a credit card does. Credit card companies have entire departments dedicated to monitoring unusual activity that may be linked to fraud or theft. Cardlock and CFN card carriers rely only on the careful attention of fleet managers to understand the fine print and consistently monitor usage to determine abnormal activity. The average consumer does not have to worry extensively about credit card fraud. Fleet managers need to bring a higher level of attention to fraud protection, and in the process, they can put multiple checks and balances in place to protect themselves and their assets.

Read the Fine Print

If you’re a fleet manager, you need to read the fine print on your Cardlock or CFN terms and conditions from the inside out, being clear about all permitted usage. SCL’s Cardlock application has extensive terms that fleet managers should read thoroughly and communicate clearly to drivers. Below you will find a sample of the terms and conditions set by SCL on our Cardlock Application.

The entity or individual applicant (hereinafter “Customer”) agrees to pay all charges when due. In the event said charges are not timely paid, Customer agrees to pay SCL a service charge of 2.0% per month on the unpaid balance for all charges not paid within the due date (or the highest rate allowed by law). This is not interest on a loan or a finance charge but an agreed to service charge for the failure to timely pay for goods and services received. Customer acknowledges credit limits set by SCL are solely for the benefit of SCL and may be modified at any time by SCL at SCL’s sole discretion. 

Exception Reports

When it comes to preventing and troubleshooting problems, mistakes and fraud, exception reporting is a helpful tool. Exception reports are internal documents that point out when attempted usage deviates from clearly defined parameters. They point out unusual conditions and alert management of activity and behavior that may be problematic. This allows for immediate action to remedy the situation, such as when an employee attempts to purchase unauthorized products using their fuel card, such as 91 octane or Clear Diesel when only 87 octane was approved.

Driver Fuel Policy

At SCL we recommend implementing a driver fuel policy as part of your fleet management protocol. A preventative measure that allows you to protect your fleet and assets by keeping management and drivers on the same page, driver fuel policies allow for 2-way communication between all parties that prevents the risk of CFN card abuse and employee theft. Below is the SCL internal Driver Fuel Policy:

Employees authorized to fuel company vehicles are issued a (5) digit Driver ID to be used with the company’s SCL CFN fuel card. This document is to verify that you understand your responsibilities and the company’s policies regarding the use of your Driver ID.

Employee Acceptance Statements

  • I have been issued a Driver ID, which authorizes me to fuel company vehicles only, using the company’s SCL CFN fuel card
  • I understand that my Driver ID identifies me by name on a fuel report and that I am accountable for all transactions made using my Driver ID. Therefore, I will not share my Driver ID with anyone. If I believe someone else knows my Driver ID, I will immediately notify my supervisor and/or fleet manager.
  • I understand that the SCL CFN fuel card is not to be used for personal vehicles or non-business purposes. Using the SCL CFN fuel card for any purpose other than official business use will be considered theft of company property.
  • I understand that each time I use a SCL CFN fuel card I am required to completely fill the vehicle’s fuel tank and enter an accurate odometer reading. This will allow the company to monitor fuel usage and track required maintenance intervals. My failure to do this may result in disciplinary action.
  • I understand that each SCL CFN fuel card is assigned to either an individual company vehicle or specific fueling purpose (example; off road equipment fuel card). My Driver ID will work with any SCL CFN fuel card issued to the company. I understand that it is against company policy to swap or share cards between vehicles or to use any card for other than the intended purpose.

Evidenced by my signature below, I understand and agree to the above statements.

Employee Name: (Print)



The Bottom Line

As a fleet manager, it’s your responsibility to understand completely the usage parameters of your CFN or cardlock card so that you can accurately communicate them to your drivers – keeping all parties on the same page. You are your own fraud detection department, so having tools in place such a driver fuel policy and exception reporting will offer an additional line of transparency. Although your CFN and Cardlock cards can be used to purchase fuel remotely, they are still distinct from credit cards.

Contact an SCL Consultant Today

In a wide range of industrial sectors, SCL is committed to being the number one logistics and solutions provider for the products that protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. We pride ourselves on remaining at the forefront of industry trends and technological innovations, and as the market continues to evolve, we are committed to providing extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers. For information on how we can assist your fleet in choosing the optimal products at a competitive price, contact an SCL consultant today.

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