The FinTech (R)Evolution


Financial technology is developing with fast pace all over the world, while traditional banking services seem to become less important for customers. We met one of Germany’s FinTech pioneers, Stefan Herbst, spoke to Tanzanian citizens and visualized Russian FinTech developments to get a brief overview of financial services and visions in 2016.
By Hannes Vater, Goodhope PrayGod Amani, Daria Khutoryanskaya, and Mirjam Weiß

Stefan Herbst, CXO of insurance tech company Haftpflicht Helden (Photo: Hannes Vater)

According to Stefan, companies often lose their drive, when loads of money are just coming in. When businesses are running well, it doesn’t seem to have a need for trying something new. But that’s the most dangerous period for a company: „If things are going well, it’s time to do something completely new and rethink your whole business model“, Stefan says. He is co-founder of the first digital liability insurance service.

FinTech is more than financial technology. It’s more of a movement. A new feeling and experience for the customer. To accomplish that, you have to start from scratch, or it will not be really authentic. Moving features from paper to smartphones is far not enough anymore.

„Everything is design“, Stefan says. For him, design is much more than nice pictures. Intelligent design is about how to create the whole thing – the experience, the feelings, the attitude, taking the look from the users’ perspective. Stefan, his co-founders and fellows at Haftpflicht Helden call their „customers“ „users“. Users, who deliver the inspiration and ideas the company has to put into their products. It’s a symmetric relationship. The goal is to make users happy.


Haftpflicht Helden App (Photo: Mirjam Weiß)


Haftpflicht Helden Wall (Photo: Hannes Vater)


The high speed of the FinTech-scene shows that there will be drastic impacts affecting the financial and insurance sector. The Oxford Study „The future of employment“ by Michael Osbourne and Carl Frey shows, that most of the job profiles that will come up within the next 5 to 10 years are not even invented by now.

Revolutionists draw attention. Traditional banks and insurances approach innovative start-ups frequently. „They want to learn start-up – but you can’t learn start-up“, tells Stefan us. He describes it as a question of attitude and that it takes time to build the right awareness. Nevertheless, the scene of start-ups appreciates cooperation in terms of informational exchange with classical services.


Hotspot Hamburg

Hamburg has an incredible potential to be a strong platform for future developments in the finance sector. The city‘s strong brand combined with a long tradition and lots of credibility has a promising vision. It’s of big importance to the start-up-scene to attract developers and to build a strong base for knowledge exchange.

To broaden an international perspective, we want to take a deeper look at Hamburg’s partner city Dar es Salaam: How is financial technology currently working out in Tanzania?


Airtel tap tap card (Photo: Adrian Mgaya)


Mobile Finance evolution in Tanzania

10 years back it wasn’t possible in Tanzania to have almost all transactions within your fingertips. Sending and receiving money anywhere, paying different bills through your mobile phone was a dream. Mobile companies have come up with solutions of simplifying people’s life.  “My target is to remove cash in the circulation. The mobile finance services are there to help people who never thought about banks,” says Asupa Nalingingwa, MNF Senior manager of Airtel Tanzania.

People from all classes admit that the mobile finance service has not only created jobs, but also simplified day to day transactions. A short clip shows how people in Dar es Salaam, Business city of Tanzania, experience financial services offered by mobile companies.


And what happens in St. Petersburg regarding financial innovations?

The Russian company QIWI Wallet was founded in 2007 as an international payment service. It works analogous to a conventional purse – an electronic container that stores digital versions of what you carry in a normal wallet. Cash and electronic calculations are combined into a single system.

It is a multiplatform service, a complete electronic purse, which lives in a mobile device. It can change the principle of consumption.

Infografic Qiwi wallet by Daria Khutoryanskaya


This reportage is part of a student exchange program of HAW Hamburg, University of Dar es Salaam, and University of St. Petersburg.