A Revolut mortgage? CEO Announces “Super App” Plans to Offer “100-Piece Digital Mortgages”.

What’s next for Revolut? Can it ever be your only bank? Could it offer mortgages soon? And now that it has launched messaging services, is it trying to become Europe’s first ‘super app’?

evolut’s Irish user base is huge. With over 2 million users and 135 employees, Ireland is the company’s second largest market after the UK.

The Big Tech Show: From the Web Summit – Is Revolut planning to offer mortgages?

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The range of services has also grown recently. In addition to money transfers, the app now also offers loans, insurance, credit cards, crypto trading and cash-back shopping. The latest feature introduced this week is messaging. And the UK company’s co-founder and CEO, Nik Storonsky, told the Irish Independent that another offer is being considered – mortgages.

“We will definitely offer consumer mortgages,” he says. “Because if I look at all the mortgage processes, it can take a month or two. In the best case, it is seven days. It’s all quite ‘legacy’.”

So what might a Revolut mortgage look like?

“It could be one of two models or a combination,” he says in a podcast interview with the Irish Independent’s Big Tech Show podcast. “The first is a mortgage funded by us as a bank. Or it could be like a mortgage initiation. But ultimately, we want to create a seamless experience that’s 100 percent digital, so you apply for the mortgage in the app, choose the house you want to buy, and get an email at the same time. Everything would be instant and automated.”

Mr Storonsky declined to set a timeline for a new mortgage offering for Revolut users.

But he says it’s been a poignant week for him personally. While Revolut announced new features, it emerged that Mr Storonsky had revoked his Russian citizenship in response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Why did he choose to do this?

“Well, I’m against the war,” he says.

Did that hurt emotionally?

“A little bit. But I’ve lived in the UK for 16 years and my business is in Europe.”

There are other family links to the aftermath of the invasion, which he has described as “abhorrent”. Mr Storonsky’s father was reprimanded and placed on a sanctions list by Ukrainian authorities for his role as director of Russian energy company Gazprom.

One of the reasons we are so popular in Ireland is that the banks are not good

Speaking at this year’s Web Summit in Lisbon, however, he seems more focused on ways to grow the Revolut app than on the war.

He isn’t shy about pointing out the shortcomings of Irish banking apps, some of which still fail to properly display tablet versions of their apps.

“One of the reasons we’re so popular in Ireland is that the banks aren’t good there,” he says.

“It’s a huge problem. We’ve gotten used to thinking of the bank as some kind of building where you go to get something you want, but the reality is that banking is a software business. Everything should be automated and provided immediately, efficiently and autonomously.”

In Ireland, Revolut operates under its Lithuanian banking license. It tried to get an Irish license but was made wait by the central bank for 30 months before deciding to just take the Lithuanian license. The move changed Revolut’s plans to turn its Irish office into a more centralized European regulatory base. While others at the company privately describe the lengthy wait from the central bank as disappointing, Mr. Storonsky does not want to be drawn into a blame game. He says things have worked out well for Revolut.

“It was more of a cost-benefit analysis for Irish customers,” he says.

“When we applied in Ireland, it was a pre-Brexit thing,” he says. “And because it wasn’t ready in time for Brexit, we used our Lithuanian license. So by the time the Irish license was ready we had rolled out in every single country. At this point we just thought, ok, what’s the benefit for Irish customers? Of course we could have used our Irish eMoney license in Ireland for Irish customers but then they wouldn’t have [the same] customer protection. So it made sense [to go with the Lithuanian licence].”

Has this episode impacted the profitability of the company’s Irish office, which employs 135 people?

“No,” he says. “We referred the majority of people in Ireland to the Lithuanian bank. If you look at our [Europe] CEO for the bank [Joe Heneghan]he was formerly CEO of Ireland.”

And what are the plans now for the Irish office?

“We’re always hiring,” he says. “But in terms of licenses, we are currently based in Europe.

While Revolut is awaiting a pending license application in the UK, reportedly described as nearing completion, the company currently relies on the Lithuanian license for its European banking operations. Does Mr. Storonsky think that’s enough to run a pan-European financial institution with 20 million users and ever more ambitious plans?

“For now,” he says. “We have offices in every single country in Europe. This means that as a bank we are also regulated by a local supervisory authority in each individual country. So that’s enough for now.”

Now that Revolut has a messaging service, talk of becoming a “super app” is starting, like the kind of all-rounder services you see in Asia. Mr Storonsky dismisses the question, preferring to view Revolut as a “financial super app”.

“A super app is a very high level concept,” he says. “Ultimately we want to have all the financial services people use in one app in a simple, intuitive and cost-effective way. So if I want to act, I can act. If I want to buy or sell crypto, I can do that or withdraw money, exchange currencies or borrow money. For me it should be a tool where I can get everything I need at a good price.”

You can listen to the full interview with Revolut CEO Nik Storonsky on The Big Tech Show, available on all podcast platforms.

https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/news/a-revolut-mortgage-ceo-reveals-super-app-plans-to-offer-100pc-digital-mortgages-42117722.html A Revolut mortgage? CEO Announces “Super App” Plans to Offer “100-Piece Digital Mortgages”.

Fry Electronics Team

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