Interview with Jim Magats, CEO of MX

How does this trio of former PayPal execs plan to lead MX to dominance in the banking data space?

They say timing is everything. And for Jim Magats, the new CEO of financial data aggregator MX, the timing is looking pretty good.

Magats left PayPal—where he had spent 18 years, most recently as Senior Vice President, Omni Payments Solutions—at the end of July, getting out a couple of month before the payments company released a policy update in October that said users would have to pay up to $2,500 in damages for spreading misinformation.

That announcement—which the company later rescinded—sparked a 1,400% increase in searches for “delete PayPal,” and an immeasurable loss in customer accounts and payment volume.

Magats might have jumped from the frying pan, but he may very well have landed in the fire, nonetheless. The financial data space—sometimes referred to as “open banking”—is a highly competitive arena, with regulatory developments concerning the use of data always nipping at financial institutions’ ankles.

What do you see as the opportunities in the financial data space?
Magats: The challenge that we face today is data has been siloed, unusable, and kept at arm’s length from the people who actually need it. If we are able to properly serve customers from the end customer perspective, data will be the key to unlock that.

It seems to me that the challenge is in the insights and experience, not the connectivity and the data.
Magats: Yeah. Data by itself is useless unless you are able to take some action on it, At PayPal we had 50 petabytes of transaction data [but that] data wasn’t actionable. When I say MX is a data company, it’s in the realm of how do you take data and generate actionable insights and create great experience on top of it.

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