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Mortgage Tech Series: Q&A with Francesca Carlesi at Molo

Jessica Nangle

March 29, 2021

Mortgage Introducer’s Mortgage Tech Series features Q&As with businesses that aim to revolutionise the property market by integrating technology to create an optimised solution. 

In this instalment, we spoke to Francesca Carlesi, chief executive and founder of Molo (pictured), to discuss the reason for creating Molo, the future of mortgage tech and how the market’s attitude has changed towards technology.

Tell us about Molo.

Molo is the UK’s first digital mortgage lender, founded in 2018 to bring mortgages to the digital age, at last. Molo was born out of the frustration with the current mortgage experience for people in the UK, with a mission to make home financing not only faster and easier but also more accessible to everybody in the UK. We achieve this by leveraging the full power of technology and data to give our customers the fastest and best experience when getting a mortgage and buying a house.

What was the main reason for creating Molo?

Molo was born was to give customers a better way and better access to finance their home. The idea started from my own experience when getting a mortgage, which was frustrating and cumbersome.

It became clear that this cannot be the only way today, given the recent developments in technology, open banking, APIs and many others. Hence, we decided to redesign the mortgage experience from scratch, for the digital age. We aim to allow the customers to get a mortgage on their mobile ideally in a matter of minutes rather than weeks. After all, people want to buy a home, not a mortgage.

Molo was the UK’s first fully-digital mortgage lender. What do you believe is the future of mortgage tech?

We believe mortgage tech is going to be one of the areas of fintech that will be mostly disrupted in the next five to ten years. The reason for this is simple: whilst in most of the other areas of banking the first big wave of disruption has already happened (for example digital banking, payments, cards, wealth management), in mortgages this has still not happened. We are seeing the initial steps of innovation in mortgages.

If you could describe Molo in three words, what would they be?

· Pioneer: at the heart of Molo lies a truly innovative DNA. Since the beginning we attempted to do things that had not been done before, being daring and challenging the status quo.

· Technology: Molo was born as a tech-company primarily and a mortgage lender secondarily. As such we are truly tech enabled, not only in the front end but also and especially in the back end. There’s a big difference between a company that offers technology and actually being a technology company.

· Customer-obsessed: Molo was born out of customers’ frustration and difficulties getting a mortgage in the UK. We designed the company around the customer, rather than building yet another mortgage processing platform.

Last year Molo began diversifying its product range, adding Let-to-Buy mortgages and enabling landlords to take a mortgage with Molo for houses in multiple occupations. Have you got plans to expand your product suite further in 2021?

At Molo we are continuously working towards new customer’s propositions and products. As such, we are planning to launch into the residential owner occupied space in the near future. So there is definitely more to come in 2021, stay tuned.

We are living in an age of convenience, where consumer attitudes are changing. How does Molo adapt to these changing trends and stand out from other lenders?

The nice thing about being a start-up and new company is that we don’t need to adapt to be honest, we exist because of the changing trends and customers’ needs.

So, Molo is designed for today’s customer’s needs and attitudes and we are already set up to address them. We believe that customers today expect instant gratification/responses, seamless access to their finance decision anytime anywhere, full transparency about their choices and real time monitoring. Molo provides all of this already by design and is built on modern cloud-based technology.

How do you believe these challenging times have changed the mortgage market’s attitude to technology?

The pandemic has triggered a real seismic change to the mortgage industry. In particular, lockdown has triggered a general acceleration of digital adoption so that even in financial services and mortgages people have realised that they can now safely get a mortgage online and without in-person meetings. This has forced players in the industry to think more creatively and out of the box.

The pandemic has had a lot of silver linings for the mortgage and home buying market, dramatically accelerating innovation and digital adoption and forcing the adoption of new technologies and solutions that were already widely available before but simply not relied upon. Sometimes it is from extreme circumstances that the most radical innovation emerges.

What are your growth plans for the next 12 months in these uncertain times?

In the current market environment, we feel that Molo, more than ever, has an opportunity but also a moral duty to support home buyers getting a mortgage and/or remortgage in a digital and easy way.

At Molo, we believe more than ever that we want to be there for our customers and allow them to refinance, buy a property and/or inquire for a mortgage from wherever they are. So, we are definitely adding new product propositions to our buy-to-let range, also adding new channels to our general distribution strategy and, in due course also expanding our offer to the residential owner occupied market.


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