INFOTECH: Paradigm Group Overcomes the Fleet Management Headache
Only months after bringing its revolutionary Payment24 fleet management modules to market, Paradigm Group is seeing keen interest in the solution, both in South Africa and abroad.
Paradigm Groups’ retail and commercial platform, Payment24, harnesses contactless technologies, mobile and cloud solutions to deliver unprecedented low cost, real-time fuel management for fleet owners and fuel companies. The solution is the first in the sector to allow real-time cloud-based management even on mobile devices, multiple layers of identification and flexible limit management, combined with a comprehensive analytics dashboard for overall fuel, vehicle and driver monitoring.
The Payment24 fleet management solution, which launched in the middle of 2014, is gaining a great deal of traction in the market, says Shadab Rahil, MD of Paradigm Group. “It’s quite revolutionary in this space, so we have signed up customers in South Africa and Botswana, and are seeing strong interest from other African and European countries.” Not only does the Payment24 fleet management solution compete with traditional automatic vehicle identification (AVI) solutions, it can also be used to compliment AVI solutions for significantly enhanced control. And because of its low price, it lowers the barrier to entry to fleet owners who in the past might not have used a fleet management tool due to its high cost.
Rahil says some of the biggest challenges facing transport companies and fleet owners with regards to fuel management are fraud and the cost of time off the road. “Fraudulent transactions cost the industry huge sums of money every year.”
Payment24 fleet management uses either a fleet card, or smartphone or feature phone-based driver identification combined with a tamper-proof contactless tag on the vehicle’s windscreen. At the forecourt, both the driver and the vehicle are identified and this data is fed in real time to the management system, which allows for immediate detection of fraudulent or blocked transactions. “Ours is the only solution that can tie down the driver and the vehicle to a single transaction in real time, with immediate alerts issued per transaction,” says Rahil.
Using a handheld mobile banking-type terminal, attendants tap the windshield, then the driver enters a pin or swipes a card, and only when this is concluded will the pump be released. In addition, the management system allows for a number of rules to be set relating to fuel limits by vehicle, driver, area or time.
Unlike traditional and costly AVI sensors used in nozzles and fuel tanks, the windscreen tags cost only R15 – R30 each, are unlikely to break, and can be quickly replaced without the vehicle having to be sent in to a workshop. From retailer’s perspective, no costly sensor ring is installed on the nozzles, and only an easy-to-use mobile terminal is needed. The challenge of authorisations is also reduced.
The management dashboard is cloud-based and accessible via mobile devices, allowing management to make authorisations and track patterns immediately, wherever they are. This capability is unique to the Payment24 fleet management system, and enables significantly enhanced control and visibility,” says Rahil.