Plastic makes perfect. Sense, that is. And oil marketing companies (OMCs) are cashing in the card fad too. Recent statistics reveal that revenues through petro-cards have contributed 18-20% of the total turnover of OMCs.
While BPCL is expecting a turnover of over Rs 9,000 crore through its petro-card programme by the end of this fiscal, IOC is also clocking sales of close to Rs 25 crore a day, implying over Rs 9,000 crore annually. BPCL's two loyalty programmes -- the petro-card (a pre-paid loyalty card for cashless fuel purchases for the urban consumer) and the smart fleet card for the fleet consumer - have over two million consumers.
But fleet card holders are increasing at a faster rate than petro-card holders, jumping 188% from 39,835 enrollments in 2005-06 to 1,14,841 enrollments at the end of December 2006-07. In terms of revenue, petro-card sales raked in Rs 3,774 crore between April and December 2006-07 while smart fleet sales accounted for Rs 2,809 crore.
Indian Oil's Xtra power fleet card has over one million consumers. Any fleet owner or business entity owning or operating commercial vehicles can become a member of the programme. For enhanced security, fleet card transactions are authorised through a personal identification number (PIN), so that each vehicle's movement can be tracked across the country.
There is an option of transactions on debit as well as credit. Prepaid petro cards are like debit cards, wherein members load up cash on the card and use it for buy petrol. These debit/credit cards enable consumers to accumulate loyalty points on each transaction which are redeemed for rewards like free tank-ups.
Even movie tickets (Casino Royale and Salaam-e-Ishq are recent offerings) can be acquired through through points. So playing the (fuel) cards right can be beneficial to both vehicle and owner!