Electronic Fuel Cards: Challenges and Benefits A Study of Total Petroleum Ghana Limited Fuel Card (Tomcard)

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This study investigates the challenges and benefits of Tomcard, an electronic fuel card of Total Petroleum Ghana Limited and examine why people prefer physical cash transactions to the Tomcard. Though electronic payments have several benefits for users, patronage in developing economy including Africa has always been below average. Though Total Petroleum Ghana Limited introduced electronic payment in 2003, the proportion of sale through the fuel card has not increased much. Therefore, this study gathered data in a field survey of two hundred (200) users of Tomcard from ten (10) companies. The random sampling technique was employed at the various companies because it gives each member of the population an equal chance of being selected for the study. The tools used for the collection of the primary data were questionnaires and interview. The study found that the Tomcard is a better alternative to cash transactions, safe and offered better security. Furthermore, it is more convenient to use as compared to cash, reduces misuse of cash and risk of theft. The use of fuel cards also enables users to budget for specific products and services. However, the challenges of using the Tomcard include the difficulty of accessing top up at the station, unclear and faded receipts, restrictive payments and top ups and unavailability of detailed reports via SMS or Web. Furthermore, users bear greater liability for fraudulent transaction. These challenges may explain why patronage of the Tomcard may not have improved much. The study therefore recommends that in order to encourage more people to use the Tomcard, TPGL should make access to top ups easier, load cards on time and fix frequent breakdown of electronic payment terminals promptly. Besides, TPGL should arrange for users of the Tomcard to check top up via text or short code as well as access their detailed reports by SMS and the Web.
A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters of Business Administration,