As Wright Express explores ways to incorporate mobile-payment initiatives, it is beginning to test products outside the U.S. first before launching them here, according to a top executive at the fleet card provider.

"One of the advantages with us becoming more global is we're seeing more mobile adoption in Australia than here," Melissa Smith, Wright Express' president of the Americas, said in an Aug. 16 interview. "We're feeding that into our strategy."

Wright Express already offers one mobile application in the U.S., Octane, which uses the company's transaction data to identify locations where fuel prices are least expensive.

"We are focused on mobile but also in how we can provide even more value from the data we get from the transactions to help customers to operate more effectively," Smith says.

Fleet providers tend to have varying interests in mobile payments, with larger operations tending to take it slower than smaller ones because of cost and other restrictions, Smith says.

Wright Express' rollouts will be based on individual markets, starting first in regions that are more technically advanced when it comes to mobile-based services, Smith says.

This month, Wright Express announced plans to extend the reach of its virtual cards tied to travel through a planned a partnership with the Australian operations of Webjet.com, an electronic manager and marketer of travel and related services. 

And in May, the South Portland, Maine-based company expanded its virtual card capabilities to include debit by purchasing United Kingdom-based CorporatePay Ltd., which offers virtual prepaid and credit cards. 

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