Fintiba: How an FS alumni supports international students with his FinTech
Alumni / 1 August, 2017
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Managing Director Fintiba GmbH
Bastian Krieghoff studied Business Administration (B.Sc.) at Frankfurt School and graduated in 2012. During his studies he worked at Commerzbank AG. Afterwards he started working at the private bank Hauck & Aufhäuser in Frankfurt before he founded Fintiba GmbH which supports international students on their way to Germany.

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An international student from outside the European Union who decides to study in Germany might know that there is a lot more to think about than finding the right university, writing applications and searching for affordable accommodation. The high level of bureaucracy and the lack of relevant information impose significant challenges to international students and their idea of studying in Germany. Due to these circumstances and the absence of specialised and digital solution providers, the procedure is extremely time-consuming and thus often results in a delayed start of studies or in the decision to study in another country.

Fintiba emerged from a digital and international mindset

Already during his studies at Frankfurt School and his former job, Bastian Krieghoff, managing director of Fintiba, worked and studied in different countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and China (Shanghai). During his journey, he as well encountered many organisational problems that made him realise how difficult it can be to study or work in a foreign country. Consequently, he became increasingly aware of the challenges someone from abroad might face when planning to study in Germany. After some in-depth research on visa requirements, he felt vindicated that Germany, indeed, is a country of bureaucracy. Before entering the country, international students face many bureaucratic hurdles and other obstacles along their way. Providing adequate academic background such as language certificates or university confirmations, getting a health insurance and proving sufficient financial means are just few of the many challenges international students have to overcome before starting their studies in Germany.

When applying for a visa, you are asked to prove your ability to cover the living and semester costs of your studies. Consequently, a “Finanzierungsnachweis’ of at least around 8.700€ is a prerequisite for a one-year stay in Germany. Besides some other proofs of financial resources such as a confirmation of the parent’s sufficient financial means or a scholarship from recognised scholarship-awarding organisations, opening a blocked account to deposit a security payment is the most commonly used option.

Since Bastian was, among other tasks, responsible for the digitalisation of a business unit during his time at the private bank “Hauck & Aufhäuser” in Frankfurt, he has already gained valuable know-how in digitalising complex processes. Over time, he managed to gather around him a group of people who share the same digital and international mindset. Hence, a team emerged that designed a concept which significantly simplifies the visa process and supports international students on their way to Germany – the concept of Fintiba.

“If international students are not able to open a blocked account or be covered with a health insurance for their visa appointment on time, the issuance of the entry permit will be delayed and in the worst case, they miss the start of their studies. Consequently, Germany might lose some very qualified students and skilled workers. With Fintiba we can decrease language barriers and offer a transparent and digital process that enables international students to focus on what really matters.”

A digital solution to overcome the bureaucratic hurdles in Germany

The processes behind Fintiba are designed to be fully digital. Therefore, the health insurance or the blocked account for the visa appointment can be completed online and within a few days. After initiating the process via Fintiba’s website, students receive their login details for a web application which is an online platform that is accessible through the internet browser. In this personal Fintiba account, purchased products can easily be managed and the students are guided step by step through a formerly complex, now fully transparent process. However, Fintiba not only covers the necessary products for the visa application. Additionally, the FinTech provides further useful information on subjects related to studying and living in Germany such as apartment search, regular bank account opening, contribution service (former GEZ) and much more.

Since the launch of Fintiba in January 2017, the online provider has already successfully assisted students from more than 100 different countries with their preparation for their stay abroad and after they have arrived in Germany. Since Fintiba’s aim is to increasingly strengthen its brand and reputation, the team constantly strives to optimise existing processes and expand the product as well as service offering. Through transparent, fast and digital processes, which meet all data protection and IT security requirements, Fintiba accompanies students through one of the most exciting stages of their lives in the best possible way.