About Tech Talks
In this Tech Talks series, we will directly share with you the attitude and vibe of the PayPay Tech team through the voices of the unique product members from around 40 countries! This time, Naoya Yamamoto (PONTA) from the Feature Team.
*The Japanese version of the article is also available here.
Naoya Yamamoto (PONTA)
I joined PayPay as an iOS engineer in January 2020. Currently, I am mainly involved in the development of new features for consumers in the Feature Team.
I started taking interest in PayPay when I won the “10 Billion Yen Giveaway Campaign” and received a PayPay Bonus of 100,000 yen. At that time, I was using multiple QR payment services, but PayPay became my go-to after this campaign. I decided to join PayPay because as I saw the PayPay app become more convenient with new features added day by day, I realized that I wanted to ride this wave and see firsthand how the service would expand.
The first impression when I joined PayPay
I had only worked for startup companies with around 100 people before joining Paypay, so it seemed like a huge company with its 1,000 or so employees at the time. But once inside, I was really surprised to see how strategies were constantly updated and all employees were working as one with the speed and aggressiveness of startups.
iOS team structure and operation
PayPay has about 15 iOS engineers right now. We have folks not only from Japan but also from diverse countries like India, US, and China. The team is divided into four groups: Feature Team (for to-C), Merchant Team (for merchants), SDK Team, and Platform Team. During my interview, I told the interviewer that I wanted to be involved in the to-C service. As a result, I have been involved in the development of various features as a member of the Feature Team since I joined PayPay.
PayPay rolls out new features every week. That means that we are not assigned the same feature all the time, but given different tasks, such as feature improvement and development, based on the project. When working on a large project, we focus on that project only, but we can have multiple projects at the same time if they are small.
That would be the “P2P project.” We had to develop a new feature that enabled users to send and receive messages and select the background design when sending or receiving PayPay Balance on the app. The project began around late October in 2020 and was rolled out in March 2021.
Every day was like a school festival when I started working on this project. PayPay engineers must not only build things that work exactly as they are told, but constantly think about how smooth the user experience of the feature is. Likewise, in this project, all 10 of us members went through rounds of discussions while implementing the feature and made improvements and modifications to it, all based on the specification document. Then, we were finally able release it in March.
I was a little proud of myself when I found a tweet about this feature on my Twitter timeline after the rollout.
The fun of working at PayPay as an iOS engineer
I can be constantly innovative. What is interesting about PayPay is that it has 40 million users (one in three people in Japan) even though the service was launched only three years ago. I think PayPay is the only service in Japan that has acquired this many users in just three years. Also, the company provides a very attractive environment for engineers, where we can create new features in a timely manner in response to changes in the world, because our service is still new.
Difficulties with working at PayPay
Since it is a financial service used by 40 million people, accidents are unacceptable. If a crash occurs for 1% of our users, that means that 400,000 users cannot make a payment in any situation. That’s why PayPay engineers have a deep sense of responsibility in pursuing quality in creating the service.
Work environment at PayPay
PayPay has a Work From Anywhere at Anytime (WFA) system, so we are all working remotely. Thanks to this work style, I can have lunch with my family during breaks, and we grew even closer to each other. Some of my co-workers used this system to move back to their hometowns while others moved away from the city center to suburban areas. They work freely in places that suit them.
Who is a good fit for PayPay
PayPay is constantly innovating in the midst of government initiatives to promote cashless payments. Therefore, the company’s strategies and the direction of the features may change daily depending on the situation. I think people who can enjoy these quick changes will fit in well with PayPay. Also, PayPay engineers work on a project basis, so we are always assigned a “role that only you can play.” Those who like to constantly think about how to provide high-quality services, actively exchange opinions, and engage in development with ownership will enjoy working at PayPay.
A message to those who want to join PayPay
Over the past three years, PayPay has brought a revolution to the Japanese financial market. Our competitor is “cash.” We will continue to improve our services in order to defeat cash. For those who want to make changes in the world, come join and let’s work together at PayPay!
See our currently available open positions here
Spesial Thanks：Naoya Yamamoto ／ Editor：Eri (PayPay Inside-Out Editing Department)
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.