Harry Staley’s Review on the Fizz Debit Card

A review by Penny Forward Member Harry Staley

Fizz is a financial product designed to make blind people financially independent with cutting edge innovations. This includes accessibility features that are unparalleled. Fizz is a prepaid debit card, which can be linked to the user’s own bank account. The user needs to download the Fizz app, which can then be linked to the user’s bank account with end-to-end encryption. The money can be transferred from a user’s bank to reach their Fizz card, which acts as a virtual spending account.

Real-time budgeting and spending insights are among the hallmarks of Fizz It might be self-evident, but this is the first app that allows you to put budgets around differing categories of spending, such as groceries, entertainment, transportation and the like. As users swipe the Fizz card for purchases, the app automatically categorises expenses so that users are constantly in tune with their spending, allowing them to keep their fingers on the pulse of their money. This feature is especially important when dealing with those who suffer from poor fiscal discipline/literacy. Users can adjust budgets as needed, and reduce or eliminate unintended spending by being alerted (visually) when they are near the spending limit of their appropriation.

One key element that also drew me to the Fizz card was another automated savings feature available to all Fizz card users, which integrates nicely with the budgeting strategy discussed above. Since all Fizz transactions are processed through the Fizz app, which is coupled with my debit card, it is super easy to round up every Fizz purchase. Specifically, the Fizz app saves the difference between the amount of the Fizz transaction and the nearest dollars into a savings account. For instance, if you swipe the Fizz card and the amount is $12.38, the app will round it up to the nearest dollar ($12.50) and save 12 cents in your savings account. Of course, a penny here and there do not add up to much, but if you use this feature on a regular basis, it can give you a substantial amount each month. This small but consistent saving process is a hidden gem: there is no easier way to save than spending money. Implementing this feature into any monthly budget should allow you to build a respectable sum in your savings account in no time.

Where a debit card merely facilitates purchases, the Fizz card helps build credit by reporting on the types of spending behaviour and repayments that credit bureaus look for when determining creditworthiness. Repayments can be set to automatically draw from the cardholder’s linked bank account to avoid the need for timely reminders. For those who currently have bad credit and want to reestablish their financial potential, but don’t need or want to take on new debt, the Fizz card was designed for you. It’s hard to beat the convenience of a credit card’s upfront lending that was instilled in my early, albeit vicarious experience. But tapping that credit to borrow, pay interest, spread purchases over time and accrue balances and penalties was a mistake I won’t repeat. Indeed, for those who aren’t interested in tapping into that cash-free magic, the Fizz card provides an excellent way to build credit responsibly and without taking a financial misstep.

The Fizz card’s app was developed so that the blind really can take control of their finances without having to rely on sight. The app is screen-reader compatible and can be controlled by voice command. But that’s not all, the app is also available to download for free on both iOS and Android. You can check your balance, manage transactions and account settings thanks to these accessibility features. Websites were also an area we wanted to make inclusive. Its time to find out if a website is accessible or not If you visit the Fizz website you will notice that its user-friendly. That is because it is built to be accessible to be used with screen readers and various other AT (assistive technology) solutions.

Beyond these basic functions, the Fizz card boasts several additional features. Your card will notify you every time when you make a transaction, so you are always updated about your spending behaviour in real-time. If your Fizz card gets lost, it’s easy to freeze it via the app to prevent unauthorised transactions, all data is encrypted.

With its budgeting tools, credit-building capabilities, and accessibility to special populations such as blind users, the Fizz card can empower users to take control of their finances and escape a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. By reporting to the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and Transunion – this product targets one of the most sensitive aspects of our lives. Having a good credit score is typically the only way to obtain a mortgage or car loans, lease an apartment, get a job, or open a cellphone account. The card allows the user to build a credit score (or improve a bad score) without taking on debt, a major step in achieving financial freedom. What’s more, the product’s savings feature could help inculcate a good savings habit. And because the app integrates screen readers and enables use via voice commands, it’s accessible to blind users, who can take full advantage of all the Card’s features (ie, financial inclusion!). In sum, while the Card isn’t perfect, it does a better job than others in the market at providing financial-education tools and a chance at financial freedom.

Learn more about Fizz on their website: https://joinfizz.com/

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