Get Fintiba Basic in a few quick steps
In this detailed article, we will show you how to open a blocked account with Fintiba by going through the whole process – from start to finish together.
Compared to Fintiba Plus, Fintiba Basic only includes the blocked account. A blocked account is a requirement for your German visa application or residence permit. It is a special kind of bank account, where you need to deposit a required amount of money to cover your living expenses for one year. This account serves as proof of financial resources for the German Embassy in your country or the Immigration Authority in Germany.
Before your visa appointment, you are required to deposit a standard amount into the blocked account, which is required by law. German authorities have announced they plan to increase the BAföG rate for the fall semester of 2022/2023 from €861.00 to €934.00. This means that international students will be required to block a total amount of € 11,208.00 per year for their stay in Germany. The sum may be subject to further change based on the specific requirements from your embassy. Please pay extra attention to this change and check the website of your local German embassy or of the foreign office regularly. The blocked amount remains in your blocked account until you arrive in Germany and can start your monthly payouts. You can find more information about the new blocked amount in our dedicated blog article.
How to get started?
On the landing page of our website www.fintiba.com, you can see a direct comparison between the Fintiba Basic and Fintiba Plus products. You can start the account opening process from here by clicking on the “Open Account Now” button.
Alternatively, you can also find more detailed information about the Fintiba blocked account under the “Solutions” tab, by selecting the “Blocked Account” option. This leads you to the dedicated Blocked Account page, where you can also find the “Open Account Now” button. Click on it to start the registration process.
Registration Step 1 – Personal Data:
There are only four steps to the opening process. The first one is filling in your basic personal data. This step is actually standardised for every bank account opening in Germany.
To start with, you should let us know how you would like to be addressed via the Title menu. Then you can enter your First Name (or Names) and your Surname. It is very important that you fill in both fields in the exact same way as they are written in your passport. So make sure to keep your passport close by for this part of the process.
If you are married and have changed your surname after marriage, click on “Yes” in the respective field and fill in your maiden name in the box that appears.
Next, enter your date of birth – you can either type it out in the format day-month-year, or click on “Choose” and select the correct date from the drop-down calendar.
Entering your city of birth is optional at this stage so you can choose to skip it. If you would like to specify it, enter the city in the field provided. Once you have started typing, a dropdown will appear with suggested cities from which you can select your place of birth by clicking on it.
Next, you need to fill in your Nationality and let us know if you have a second nationality. In the case that you do, indicate your second nationality in the box that pops up when you click “Yes”.
Next, let us know what your Marital Status is, with the options of single, married, living common law, separated, divorced, or widowed.
Finally, you need to provide your Reason for Stay in Germany. Here you can find a variety of options including Studies, Language Studies (or a preparatory class called Studienkolleg), Au Pair, Apprenticeship, Job seeking or Other.
Click on “Continue” once you have correctly filled out all necessary fields.
Registration Step 2 – Visa Details
The next step is to provide details regarding your visa and studies. First, you should let us know what your Planned Date of Arrival is – here again, you can either type the date in the format day-month-year, or choose it from the drop-down calendar on the right. Do not worry if you do not know the exact date – please provide an estimate, which you can change later.
Next, you should select whether you already have the necessary health insurance for your visa. If you do not have health insurance yet, another box will pop up asking if you would like to book the required health insurance package that includes free travel insurance directly with your blocked account from Fintiba. This refers to our Fintiba Plus package, which contains a blocked account, health insurance, and travel insurance in one package, specifically tailored to your needs covering everything for your visa appointment and the enrolment at your university.
In the case that you already have health insurance, you can move on to the next step by clicking “Yes” then “Continue”.
Registration Step 3 – US Tax Status
In step 3, we ask you to tell us if you have any tax liabilities in the United States. The reason for this is strict US tax laws, so it is important to us that you answer these questions honestly and correctly.
If your answer to any one of the questions is “Yes”, you will not be able to continue with the process, as unfortunately our partner bank does not offer its services to anyone with a US tax status.
If your answers to all questions are “No”, click on “Continue” and you are led to the last step!
Registration Step 3 – Agreements and Account Activation
You’re almost done! You now need to provide your e-mail. Be sure you have access to this mailbox, as this is where we will send you a confirmation email, and any future communication. You also have the option to enter your mobile phone number, however, you can also do that later in the process.
If you have a voucher or a referral code for a discount, you may redeem it right here – just click on “Yes” and enter the code in the box that appears.
Next, you need to create a password for your Fintiba account. Make sure to create a strong password with min. 8 characters, from which at least 1 UPPERCASE letter and at least 1 digit.
You can finish up by reading and confirming the necessary agreements. After that, click on the “Open Account” button to complete the process!
To activate your account, you will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your registration. Here, you just need to click on the link and a new tab will open, where you can log in to your account.
Congratulations! You have successfully opened your Fintiba account and have gotten a step closer to living in Germany!
How to set up your account?
You can now log in to your account and have a clear view of the process. You will always have a step-by-step guide on what is required from you, when you need to upload your documents and when they have been verified. Below, you can see that in the top right corner of your profile you will have prompts telling you what are the next steps for you in red, or if we are processing your information in orange at all times in the process. For example, right after opening your account, you need to double-check your data, so you will see the next step as: “Double-check your data”. When you click on this red banner, you will find more information about what you need to provide.
First, we can start with the “Data Check” where you need to make sure the data you have provided during the initial registration step is accurate and correctly provided in each field. In addition, you need to provide your City and Country of birth, as well as your current address in your country of residence.
Next in the “Passport Information” section, you need to let us know if you have your passport with you (answer with a “No” in case your passport is at the embassy) and provide your passport number, passport issue date, the expiration date of your passport and in which country it was issued. For this step, it is very important that you have your passport with you so you can double-check the data.
For example, it is a common mistake that many make to confuse the passport expiration date (should be in the future) with the issue date (should be in the past) or to mistake the serial number with the passport number. So, you really need to be mindful while completing this step. It is also very important that you use the same passport, which you will use to apply for your visa.
Next, we need to verify your passport information. For most students, our automated system checks the passport immediately. Only if your passport is not eligible for this process, you need to wait for our manual verification. For this please upload a scanned PDF or a picture of your passport in colour.
In case you are tax liable (paying taxes in your country), you will need to let us know in which country you are tax liable and if you have a “Tax Identification Number” for that country.
At this stage, you can also connect a smartphone number to your account. You can also choose to do this later. But we definitely recommend connecting a smartphone to make your account safer and to be able to change your account data by yourself. Furthermore, you will need to have a smartphone connected to your account in order to set up your payouts once you are in Germany. Using your international phone number is possible, but you may choose to wait to come to Germany and connect a German phone number. It is possible to change the connected phone number, but be sure you have access to the old number to make the switch.
Finally, in the “Get you gift” section, you can choose whether you want to receive a free 3-month subscription of the digital magazine “Deutsch perfekt”, with a simple YES or NO. The digital editions will be sent to your Fintiba email address.
For the next step, go to the main page of the app and click on the “Blocked account card” and then on “Blocking Agreement”. This is where you can define the blocked amount you would receive per month once you arrive in Germany and the duration of your blocked account in months. The standard duration of an account is set to 12 months. You can change both the duration and amount in accordance with the instructions from your embassy. Confirm if the data is correct depending on your needs and what the embassy requires from you and click on “save data”.
After your passport has been verified, we will open your account as soon as possible, in most cases within 1 hour. In some cases it can take up to 24 hours. You will receive an email from us when your Blocked Account is ready and how to proceed from there.
Money Transfer & Blocking Confirmation
Once your account is ready, you should start the money transfer process. Under “Documents” you can find and download the “Transfer Information Document”. Here you can see the account number (the IBAN starts with DE), the account holder’s name (your name), as well as the full sum you need to transfer, including the additional buffer amount for international transfer and our opening fee. Please only transfer the exact amount as stated in the document.
There are several possibilities on how to make the money transfer. Please check the Transfer document for the maximum number of transfers you can make to the account.
One option is to send the money via a regular international bank transfer, however, please note that this may take up to 2 weeks and the process is less transparent as the money has to go through a network of corresponding banks.
The other option would be to use our Fintiba Transfer service, which enables you to transfer the money via one of our partners – either TransferMate or xCurrency – without any additional transfer fees and with much shorter processing times of 2-3 working days.
Once your FULL blocked amount needed has been successfully deposited in your blocked account, the blocking confirmation will be automatically issued and available for download in the ‘Documents’ section of your Account. Your blocking confirmation is issued in both German and English. It includes your personal details, the total blocked amount sum, as well as login details for the person from the embassy who can check the information in real-time online (you can also log in yourself to check the status of your account).
What happens after you receive your blocking confirmation?
Now that you have the blocking confirmation, you are ready for your visa appointment. With this document, the embassy representative is able to see your personal and passport details, as well as the blocked amount and the monthly sum.
- In the unlikely event that your visa is rejected (>90% of student visa applications are accepted :)) you will need to start the account closure process.
- If your visa is approved, the process of unblocking your account can begin after you arrive in Germany:
For this you will need to upload a picture of your visa in your account and provide us with your German address. Please note that we also accept a temporary German address, which can be changed later in the process.
Depending on your country of origin you might be required to go through a process of an identity check before you can unblock your account and set-up the monthly payouts. If this step is applicable to you, you will automatically see different alternatives on your profile dependent on your nationality – for example: video legitimation (which can be done from your home country), manual legitimation or a legitimation via the PostIdent process.
Opening a current account
Next you need to open a regular bank account, also known as a current account or Girokonto in Germany. You can use this account for your daily life in Germany to make or receive payments. It will also be the main bank account you will use to receive the monthly payouts from your blocked account. On our website, you can find an overview of the most popular current account providers used by international students, as well as basic accounts you can open without a city registration letter. There is also a “Current Account” section in your account, that provides you with more information.
Set-up your payouts
The final step after you arrive in Germany is to set up your monthly payouts.
For the safety of your account, you need to connect a smartphone number in order to confirm transactions with an mTAN code. For this, you need to provide your phone number (if you have not done that earlier). You will receive an mTAN via SMS to confirm the connection.
Next, you will need to enter the IBAN number of your current bank account to establish the monthly standing order to your current account. The payouts start from the visa start date. For example: if your visa start date is 20th September but you activate your payouts in October, you will receive the amounts for both months in October. Please note, that you will always receive your monthly payout at the beginning of the month.
This marks the end of the process from opening your blocked account with Fintiba, through setting up the account, to making the money transfer, and finally setting up the monthly payouts.
In case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to help you. Please remember to email us from the same e-mail address, you have used to open your Fintiba account. That way we are able to help you much faster.
We wish you all the best as you start your journey to Germany and thank you for trusting us to help you with this important step.