What is level III data?
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Written by WEX
Updated over a week ago

Level III data provides the information necessary to gain a deeper understanding of your fleet operations and make more informed decisions.

It helps you control where, when and how drivers use their fuel cards, identify consumption patterns and perform vehicle life-cycle analyses, reduce fraud and misuse of fleet cards.

Level III data also helps identify tax-exempt purchases for government and non-profit fleets and streamline fleet operations and reporting for government and commercial fleets.

To appreciate how Level III data can improve fleet management, it is best to understand what exactly distinguishes it from Level I and Level II data.

Level I data

Contains minimal details about a transaction: date of purchase, merchant name, and total purchase amount. For example, it’s the same information found on a consumer debit card statement, and for managing fleets, this information is far too limited to be useful.

Level II data

Provides more detail regarding each transaction, including merchant type, fuel grade, sales tax and so on. For example, most corporate credit cards capture at least Level II line-item detail.

However, Level II data still has its limitations. Unfortunately, most Level II compatible stations can only prompt for basic information, because the bank card networks powering the back end of these transactions were designed for consumer use (consumers have no need for additional prompts beyond security features). This leaves consumer networks requiring corporate needs without the necessary tools to manage their business vehicles.

Level III data

Provides deep and useful information for fleet management. It provides transaction-level information on who purchased what, when and how. Fuel cards like WEX Motorpass have built up their own back-end networks, which allow them to capture additional data via two-way communication between WEX and the merchant's POS device.

While Level I and II data may suffice for consumer purchases, Level III data is ideal for fleets with multiple vehicles and drivers to administer. Without Level III data, large fleet management becomes tedious, requiring time-consuming audits of invoices and bank statements.

Fuel cards with Level III capability can be customised with purchase restrictions so that only certain product categories may be purchased by the cardholder.

For example, a Level III-enabled card can be set to accept fuel purchases only; or only fuel and fluids; or even fuel, fluids, service and food purchases. Should a driver attempt to use a card restricted to fuel and maintenance for general merchandise, the card would be declined.

Additional restrictions can be set on dollar amounts, dollars per transaction, the number of transactions in a certain time period, and more.

Purchase controls (restrictions) can even be set by time of day or week. For example, if a fleet manager knows drivers will not use vehicles on Wednesdays, Saturdays or Sundays, then Level III-capable cards can be turned off on these days. Likewise, the card can be opened up for use only during certain peak hours when drivers will be using them.

Corporate credit cards, however, do not offer purchasing restrictions based on product category or timing parameters. Instead, restrictions are based on the merchant category, meaning that these cards can be set to work only for certain businesses, such as fuel and service merchants.

Therefore, a cardholder can purchase any product offered by the store, including food, beverages, clothing, and so on. With no means to prevent these unauthorised transactions, cardholders can purchase whatever they like, and fleet managers will only be alerted to this once a statement has been issued.

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