Distinction Helped to Launch Podium’s Innovative New Service

Distinction helped to launch Podium’s innovative new service, changing the face of how people choose the right mortgage by.

Changing the face of how people choose the right mortgage is never going to be easy. The pressures of time and the need for a quick investment return added to the challenge.

Adding deep technological expertise and fresh insight into what information people need and when, Distinction acted fast to create a simple, intuitive platform that launched on time and made mortgage applications as pain-free as possible for everyone.

Improving the mortgage journey for everyone

Its website describes Podium as a ‘specialist technology provider for the mortgage industry’. Accurate certainly, but to Distinction, Podium will always be the people who were hell bent on disrupting the mortgage industry from within.

Not without good reason. Mortgages scream complexity and difficulty. So Podium’s aim was to make choosing the right mortgage simpler for everyone. An audacious but noble goal.

Changing the face of mortgages

A spin-out from moneysupermarket.com (MSM), Podium uses deep data to give customers a better choice of mortgage. It works by serving up the information people actually need – as opposed to what they’re normally just given – to make a better-informed decision. It’s like having a friendly mortgage broker on your shoulder, feeding you all the best deals in a way you can easily understand.

Responding to the time pressure

Being something completely new, the race to be first on the market was real from the get-go. Being funded by MSM, there was also the pressure from investors looking for a quick return.

More than anything, there was the issue of technological expertise…or rather the absence of the specific knowledge within the Podium team. It was clear that digital, data and technological expertise would be needed to bring the vision to life.

Filling the knowledge gap

To answer this shortfall, the Podium team turned to Distinction to provide the missing technical expertise and guidance. They were very happy to be involved. Being a cutting-edge new service, this looked like an exciting and momentous project from day one.

Encountering significant technical obstacles in making connections between different technology platforms, Distinction worked hard to create APIs that would serve up the information needed to improve the customer experience. Sometimes it felt it couldn’t be done. But time pressures and the need to move forward forced Distinction’s hands to act decisively.


Putting the customer first

Despite working with deep and complex data, Distinction’s common goal of simplifying it and making it useful to customers kept them on point and on track.

Working back from what the customer wanted – rather than bombarding them with the traditional unhelpful data – brought unity and direction to the team. The culture of a start-up is intoxicating, and the attitude of ‘can do, will do, do now’ gave the whole team momentum at every stage.

Challenging traditional thinking

Occasionally, this meant pushing back on regulatory restrictions on what information had to be shown, and how this was presented. Distinction’s mantra was ‘is it helpful to the customer, or is it just useless information?’ Their answer was always, always to put the customer’s needs first by providing information that meant something – such as the total cost of a three-year fixed rate mortgage over the full term of the loan.

Engaging the stakeholders

Keeping the various stakeholders involved was critical – it was their investment after all. Which made the success of the first run through, that took place at MSM’s offices, a triumph in proving the validity of Distinction’s approach. It was genuinely thrilling to see all the pieces falling into place, with all the key stakeholders excitedly buying into the whole proposition.

Taking decisive action

In making the knowledge of a dedicated mortgage broker available to everyone – thereby democratising the advantages of access to dedicated financial expertise – Podium succeeded by combining its clear vision with the specific technological expertise it was otherwise lacking.

Using it themselves

By making hard and fast decisions, rather than endlessly planning and strategising, Distinction was able to keep the rollercoaster ride on track. By achieving progress at every stage, the project launched ahead of the competition and continues to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Indeed, so good is the Podium service in finding the right mortgage for your circumstances, members of Distinction’s team even used it themselves. There can be no better testimony.


Podium had one single objective – to make mortgage applications as pain-free as possible. For everyone. Distinction’s existing relationship with moneysupermarket.com and adopting their active strategy approach to the project meant the innovative new service launched quickly and ahead of the competition. The simple and intuitive platform continues to make a real different to people’s lives.

About Distinction

Distinction is the digital product studio who’ll make you stand out. They work with clients to disrupt their sector, challenge the competition, and capture market share by delivering experiences users love.