Fintiba Blocked Account and Health Insurance – An Interview!
Hi Guys! Hope you are doing well today, My name is Uday, probably you would know me from of the platforms I created called msingermany.co.in, perhaps you would have used the platform for your application process. The thing is, platform is relatively new and we are trying to bring in some new partners to offer their services at discounted prices Last week I had an opportunity to to talk to one of the managing directors and the Marketing Lead at Fintiba, we had a lot of talk about their service, I hope that you will find answers to many of the key questions that you might have about Fintiba and its services,
Let’s get into it! Hi Jonas and Carolin! Thanks a lot for joining me.. ..and thank you for taking your time to answer the questions about Fintiba We have a lot of students opening accounts with you So it would be great if you can tell about Fintiba and about yourself to start with.. Great, thanks a lot Uday, we are really glad that we had the chance to talk to you today! and also to your Indian community because obviously it’s for us a very important market and we are in contact with a lot of of your students and it’s a fantastic chance for us to have such a direct way of communicating Yeah, maybe before we start answering your questions, just a quick introduction: I’m Jonas Marggraf, i’m one of the Managing Directors My name is Carolin, Carolin Dorra. I’m responsible for Marketing and Communications here at Fintiba We can start with, you know, some of the basic questions about Fintiba. I’m sure most of the people already heard about Fintiba and it’s services But, just of the people who don’t know, can you tell an overview of what are the kinds of services that are provided by you and what is Fintiba basically? Exactly, I mean that’s the question that we are always asked ‘So what is Fintiba, who is Fintiba?.. are you a bank or a Bank or what Company are you?’ It’s very good to give a broader introduction because everyone thinks Fintiba is just a bank or just the Blocked Account but.. We are a service provider for Online Solutions for students going abroad. So we, in a way we are building online or digital solutions for international students that come to Germany. This is what we do, and around these solutions are, different main products So at the moment we start a lot about dealing with the prerequisties for Visa. For all international students, the main topic that you have to get right is the proof of financial resources. this is what we do with the blocked account and I think we will come to that in much more details later. The second very difficult thing to organize is Insurance So we tried to build processes that are step by step online guides to get all these prerequisites right and easing the way to Germany. Yeah, I mean, that’s great. Visa is a big topic for many students. They have done their part, you know, they have got the university admission, But then now, they don’t wanna mess up anything with the Visa and Blocked Account & Health Insurance play an important role there. The students themselves are kinda lucky now because everything is online. so it is, the process itself is eased a lot thanks to Fintiba and other partners who are doing this job for International students. Um so let’s get into the process itself, You told me that Fintiba offers mainly two service: Blocked Account as well as Health Insurance. So what is a Blocked Account? Why is necessary or why is it important? In a way, a blocked account is a very special bank account that exists in only very few countries Students transfer the money to it because they have to show the proof of financial means. so the German government wants to be sure that someone who comes to Germany and studies here, has sufficient financial means to pay the daily expenses over the time. So is that a you know, a necessity in terms of Administration in Germany? So in Germany here is a system which is for students in general, will be supported in the Financial aspect of their studies which is called BAföG which has certain maximum which is at the moment 735 euro per month Yeah, this amount is set by German embassy itself? Yes, it is set by the Geman government so in general, they stick to the amount of money which is given to student who receive BAföG The guideline which says, ok, the maximum BAföG amount is taken to be the maximum that a student or the amount student need to provide as financial means per month which has to be then paid into the account. I think what’s important for your community is the process how these amounts are set It’s not always the embassy that has the final say, instead it is the local foreign office. I mean for your students what’s important is that you check the amount with the embassy first. Because it, for 80% it’s the same, but it might might vary a bit and then it’s better as you said to have the information upfront in order to speed up the process. So the Fintiba is mainly online process, right Can you tell me the process in step by step manner so that our students can get the overall process? As you correctly said, it’s completely online where he/she can open the account and before doing so we would recommend to check first if only the blocked account is needed or if the student also has to prove sufficient health insurance coverage because for this, we have then, a special bundle of both services which is called the Fintiba Plus. Now when you decided you just need to Register and you’ll then get access to an web application So, that’s your personal Fintiba account For the account opening for example, it’s only, the passport is needed Then, we will ask the student to provide certain information for example the passport data, picture of the passport etc., and after the required data is completed, our customer support will verify the data which is a very fast process since we want to achieve the account opening is completed as fast as possible after the documents are verified everything is uploaded correctly, we will inform the student as soon as the account is open. It depends, we had cases for example where.. the whole process until, issuance of blocking confirmation only took 24 hours, but it depends if the student uploads the document and the data correctly because our support needs to verify it, when something is entered incorrectly, the student receives an email informing him/her about the mistake. he has time to correct and then he will be verified again in general we say, 3-5 working days but we had cases, as even, as I told you which took only 24 hours. You wouldn’t ask the student for the university admission letter? The admission letter will be asked in the later process, not for the opening of the account. for the opening of the account, you just need your passport and provide us with the passport details as well as the information about how much money you want to block for how long So basically, a student without university admission can also apply for the blocked account with Fintiba, is that correct Exactly, sir! The blocked account can be opened when you are already accepted in a university but you can also apply for example for student applicant visa when you want to come to Germany and then apply for a university or as a language student when you come here to study German or as a job seeker or apprentice I think what’s important to say what Carol just said is, first of all, the data has to be really correct. If there is any spelling mistake in the names, it might lead to a refusal at the embassy so that’s why we really take care of having the quality of information and data check in the beginning and the second thing about the university admission letter, I mean, this is what the student need to show at the embassy anyway.. to show at the embassy anyway.
So basically what happens, after I submit the form I receive a blocked account confirmation from Fintiba saying that, Okay your blocked account has been opened and I assume that you also provide something like IBAN number and BIC in that letter itself. So now the student has to go to his bank in India or if her is taking Education loan he can ask the bank to transfer the money to your bank account, is that correct? Yes, it is correct. So the student receives a document which contains all the information he needs so beneficiary name and address etc the exact amount that needs to be transferred which also contains the fee and the buffer to be sure that exact amount that is needed arrives on the account and assurance to issue the blocking confirmation as soon as the money arrives and as soon as this document is issued the account is opened in the name of the student so the account at Sutor bank is in the name of the student where he can then transfer the money to and as soon as the money arrives, our system recognizes and issues automatically the blocking confirmation that’s great because, so there is no manual work here So as soon as the money reached, automatically the student receives the confirmation and the same confirmation he can take it for the visa So, I want to clarify few thing here firstly, the initial amount that student has to pay for the blocked account. So our initial fee for the blocked account is 89 euros and 4.90 euro month so So when does this 4.90 euro starts does it start as soon as the blocked account open or I mean when a student comes to Germany and starts using the account? The payment of this 4.90 euro doesn’t start with the opening of the account but as soon as money in the account so as soon as the money arrives we start to charge 4.90 euros. So, the second thing is where is this blocked account opened? So, the second thing is where is this blocked account opened? in which bank? Yeah, maybe I tell you something about the connection here because I said earlier that we are a service provider for digital solutions for the students. So, Fintiba is not a bank itself but we partner with a bank. the same we do with the insurances, so we have a partner bank which is a German bank. It’s called Sutor Bank So in a way, the bank the blocked account is with Sutor Bank but all the interfaces towards the customers are through our systems So we partner with them. The bank is fully regulated by the German regulator with official deposit insurance. regulator with official deposit insurance.
Alright, so when, so that’s the whole procedure when the student is in India or in his country What happens when a student comes to Germany, what are the different steps he has to take in order to get his money? Um, first when the student receives the visa, the picture of his document needs to be uploaded in our Fintiba account and this will then also be verified and when the student has ordered the Fintiba Plus package with the Health insurance, we will issue the necessary documents for the enrolment for example for the stay here in Germany and afterwards we would recommend to do the Anmeldung here is Germany which is the registration of the residence in the City Hall, and because this document usually is needed to open current account which needs to be linked to the blocked account to receive the payouts. However, the student shouldn’t worry if they don’t worry if they don’t have a permanent residence yet which they can register and they can complete the step afterwards and open a blocked account anyways which is then called a Basic Account which can also be linked to the blocked account. Moreover the student needs a German mobile phone number for a secure online banking because we will send so called TAN code to this mobile phone number in order to set up the payout. and in case the student did not complete the legitimation via Video from home already which I think in India it’s not the case that you can complete video legitimation so you just need to complete a quick legitimation here in Germany where you verify your identity in order to unblock the account. So that we can set up the payouts and this set up of the payouts can be done complete online in the web application where the student just needs to enter the of the IBAN of his current account in order to set up the payouts from the blocked account to this current account. and this will be as I said, completely online and as soon as the student did that initially it will run automatically every month and we will payout the money on a monthly basis Alright, so as I understand it, there are two or there things before he gets to, you know, encash the money. So firstly he has to do the residence registration and secondly he has to get the SIM card. As well as, for Indian students, they have to do the authentication. So does that mean they have to visit a Fintiba branch or how is it done? So legitimation in Germany can be done via various options. So first we have postident by Deutsche Post where it’s done via a scanner which then the Deutsche Post sends the information to our partner bank. Moreover, we have the opportunity of course with the students when he in Frankfurt he can also visit us and we will do it him/her. Or we have almost in every major city here in Germany a location where they can go to in order to verify their passport. So the usual way is via the postident but in any But I assume that even if you do it by post, it would take certain delay, right For me that’s the concern now because a lot of our students will come to Germany and probably they need money for the deposit, for their Hostel, or probably they want to buy some things you know, just to get them started in Germany. So for that they would need certain amount money. So how long does a normal normally it would take? I think that the point you mentioned is very important because a student should be aware that they need some money when they come here to start and the same what you said, we have very good input into our customer data of how long it takes on average and the limitation is not our service because we have a very quick, I mean, the student can come here and can go right to the next post office for the legitimation because all the documents are provided in advance but normally until people really settle here, it often takes 4 weeks. So the better you inform yourself and people are aware of the next steps the easier you get to your money Yeah, exactly. Four weeks a very long time for a student. Exactly, the important part is as we said the student have all documents in place. So they can already print this form for post legitimation so can as soon they come they go to the post office. They can already check in advance where the local authorities are to get the residence permit. They can also open an account without the permit as Carolin just said so they can do that all that in first few days. It’s just if we see the reality and especially over all nationalities across, students need time and you should take that into account So the student has to be careful here, you know, just to bring sufficient amount of money for them to get settled in Germany. I have a question here, so the student has to open a current account other than the blocked account created by Fintiba and the money is transferred to that current account every month and he can use, he can withdraw the money from that current account. So now, If I want to use, for example, I need to but something in a month and I would exceed 720 euros, so in that case, is it possible to withdraw more money than the recommended amount? From the blocked account you can only each month we transfer the we transfer the one time 720 euros. Most of time the students when they arrive by the they have set up their current account they right away get the first two month payout. Because obviously, you can get money from the day of the Visa start. You have, sort of, you are eligible for the money and if you need more money than your current account covers at the moment, that something you have to deal with current account bank or your local bank whatever you choose because it’s like a loan like short term loan. So, if I know that I would be needing more money from my account for, especially for the first two months in order to get settled down and there would some other expenses so can I put in more money from India itself? Yes, possible, so we will issue as I said in the beginning the document which contains the exact amount that needs to be transferred in order to cover the required sum plus the fees plus the buffer So the buffer deposit is already 100 euro more in order to cover the international transfer fees that might may occur and this amount and the rest of the amount or the total amount will then be transferred directly when the student sets up his payouts with the first payout to the current account. If the student already knows that he needs a bit more money in the first months, then he can transfer a bit more on top of that required amount, which we inform him about and then any additional money that is on the account is not blocked and can be paid out directly with the first payout. to the current account so the student will then directly a bit more money on his account available. One other important advice at this point, it’s quite One other important advice at this point, it’s quite important where you transfer the money from. You should always transfer the money from your own account in India. Because, in case your visa gets rejected, we are obliged by law, to retranfer it to the account where it came from. Right, that would be my next question, like, in case the Visa gets rejected how should a student get his money back? what’s the procedure for that? He then uploads his visa rejection. He gets a letter by the embassay which says the Visa is rejected. He uploads that into our application, we retransfer the money to the account where it came from. So do you transfer all the money or are there certain service fees? I mean, the service fee applies. Because we obviously have a lot of work opening an account do the processes but everything, even if he has transferred more money, we deduct only our fee and the rest goes back. Yeah, that’s ok. So the service fee is 89 euros, is that correct? Exactly, yeah. Ok, got it. One more question I have is One more question I have is A lot of people are opening the Blocked Account with Fintiba now but the problem is that, Fintiba is there in Germany and if I face some problem during the opening of the account or so who should they contact, like, is there a live live chat or something on your website where they can get information? So the main two channels where they can contact us is our email address it’s [email protected] and as well as via telephone. So they can find the telephone number For example when they google or on our website help center they can find it. Then they can reach us from Monday to Friday during our business hours and it’s I think the fastest way. Most of the time, like an email works best because you can provide all the relevant information very quickly. We have a customer support team with 11 nationalities. So we can we can, not obviously always Yeah, I mean, I asked this because for a student it is a big concern because they are transferring a huge amount of money to a different country basically so there would be many cautions for them before the transfer – where would this go and I mean, this interview did very good job, you know in answering many of the questions but they still have certain questions which is not answered here, they can always reach you via email. Good thing is it’s our second year now so many students are coming back with the experience or they share it on Facebook. and what’s also very important is that can people can always log into out app and see where the money is and how much money there is and it’s not only the students who can log into, it’s also the embassy. So as soon as we issue the blocking confirmation, they embassy can check with the code that’s provided to the student that everything is Real. So they can check during the interview itself, is it? Yes, they can do that. During the interview, they can also check the insurances. It’s all things that speed up the process to obtain a Visa Okay, that’s great! So I think we need to talk about one more topic here, So I think we need to talk about one more topic here, the second one is the Health Insurance part I mean, for the Indian students there are mainly other players with respect to the Health Insurance wherein the process is made online and But, we would love to hear from you, like, what is the process that Fintiba provides. It would be much easier if they also buy it in a package, so that blocked account and health insurance can go together. Yeah, maybe I tell something about the insurance and Carol can say something about the process because I think the most important part to understand is that you need different insurances in different places or for different reasons. You need an insurance for the embassy to travel to Germany, and then you need an insurance to enrol at university and then incase the student arrives in the university earlier because they do language courses or anything before the official enrolment, you need another type of insurance again. and to make it even more complicated, it might also depend on your age, especially Masters students, if you are more than 30 years old, then you don’t apply to the German statutory insurance system and what we have done is we really, in our process, we just ask sort of these different characteristics like, how old are you when you enrol, and by that, we configure, the whole package of insurance which consists of an incoming insurance that’s the proof with the embassies, and then in case they need sort of a short term private insurance, they get an insurance until the university enrolment and then they can get an insurance in the German public. The normal way is to you’re insured in a governmental health insurance in Germany, which is the best step to take. And then we do, everything for the student, we issue it like the confirmation for the Visa appointment, he gets the documentation for the local foreign office and also the documents for the universities because, that’s the next step someone has to take. So all of these are health insurance, right? I mean, as far as I know, there are two insurances I mean, as far as I know, there are two insurances which are mainly important for Masters students who are going to Germany. So there’s Health Insurance and then there is travel insurance. So, the people here only are mainly, they are less than 30 years old so they would be looking at a public Health Insurance such as TK or AOK. But, the thing that Fintiba provides is the health insurance, is that correct? No, we also provide the travel insurance which is the “incoming insurance”. Okay, so incoming insurance is basically a travel insurance. Exactly! So but then, the short cover wouldn’t be sufficient for consulates in India because, mainly, most of them ask for 3 months travel insurance for the Visa. Exctly, and this is exactly what the package contains. It contains always the blocked account and the incoming insurance which covers 92 days. So the 3 months you mentioned. And then depending on the situation, private and governmental. The governmental (public) health insurances, maybe just of information it’s very regulated and standard, so even if they are different providers they are all the same in terms of of what they cover and also what they cost. and also what they cost. I wanna know, the details with respect to the fee structure of the of the Health Insurance. How much the student has to pay additional for the Health Insurance apart from the Blocked Account? So the Incoming (Travel) insurance is included and which covers 92 days, so the required 3 months, which then costs an additional 95 euro which will be directly added to the amount that needs to be transferred initially to the blocked account the amount that needs to be transferred initially to the blocked account. This is for the incoming insurance. Then, in case, the student also needs a Private Insurance, to cover the gap, um, this would cost 33.10 Euro per month and the governmental Health insurance at our partner DAK costs 92.62 Euros per month. So then, what would be the difference between you know, the Plus package as well as the basic package? So the Basic package includes the Blocked Account and Plus package the Blocked Account along with the insurances. In that case, what would be the expenses for me as a student, in order to get the Basic Package and in order to get the Plus package on your website? So the Basic package as you said correctly consists of the Blocked account which is the 89 Euro initial fee and 4.90 Euro per month. The advantage of the Plus package is that besides these fee for the blocked account you have to pay the fee for the Health insurance but as we said, we don’t charge any top up fees for this, and the advantage that is added there is that when you order the complete package (Plus) with governmental Health Insurance, the student as well receives the cash back of 110 Euro, directly paid out to the current account. So he actually he saves a bit of money. I didn’t know about the travel insurance, because mainly you are calling it as “incoming insurance”, we didn’t know that it Exists, and it great that it covers our students for 3 months and then, they also get additional benefit of 110 Euros back into their account. and they don’t have pay anything extra. So I think this would be a good, you know, investment for student. Yeah, and also, I had one more question popup Yeah, and also, I had one more question popup in my mind, so about this travel or health insurance, when will the student recieve the confirmation from your side? will he receive it along with the Blocked Account confirmation? Exactly, so the confirmation for the travel insurance or the incoming insurance as we call it will be issued directly with the blocking confirmation. So we just need the information the same information as for the blocking confirmation for incoming insurance. Yeah, thanks a lot, both of you. Probably I will catch up with you some other time. Yes, wil will. Okay, have a good day then!
Bye! Hey guys, hope you enjoyed the video and most importantly, I hope that you found some value out of it. You can find all the information about Fintiba and Blocked Account and Health Insurance on our website itself. I will leave the description below. If you have any questions about Fintiba process feel free to get in touch, our team will be happy to assist you. If you like the video, please consider subscribing to our channel Until next time, peace 🙂