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Forefront of Going Cashless Vol. 4 - Team 2, Partner Sales Department, Partner Sales Division



About “Forefront of Going Cashless”
Within just three years from its launch, PayPay has grown into a service adopted by 3.4 million merchants. Due to this rapid expansion, which led to our acquiring over 44 million users, many people are now commenting that they can use PayPay in numerous locations and that there are many stores which accept only cash or PayPay.

In this series, we will focus on PayPay’s Sales Group, which is at the forefront of merchant expansion, and bring you the voices of its members to uncover the secrets behind PayPay’s rapid growth.
For the third installment, we interviewed members of Team 2, Partner Sales Department, Partner Sales Division.


Akitsugu Ono

Leader of Team 2, Partner Sales Department, Partner Sales Division

Worked in sales of mobile phones toward consumer-electronic stores, as well as in planning at Softbank. In October 2019, he joined PayPay through an internal system, as he wanted to leap into a new field from the mobile phone business he was involved in since joining the labor force. As team leader, he manages Team 2, Partner Sales Department,

Hai So

Team 2, Partner Sales Department, Partner Sales Division

Joined a securities company as a new graduate. After that, she moved to a specialized trading company, where she spent about half of the year overseas and was mainly involved in negotiations with China and other countries. After witnessing the spread of cashless payments in other countries, she joined PayPay in April 2021, hoping to promote cashlessness in Japan to make people’s lives more convenient. A mother of one.

[Interviewer:]PayPay Inside-Out Editor, Sota

About the Organization

First, please tell us briefly about the Partner Sales Division and your roles in your organization.

Hai So
There are two types of merchants that use PayPay: those that have a direct contract with PayPay and those that use PayPay through payment agencies which are also called payment gateways.

The West Japan and East Japan Sales Divisions, which were introduced the other day (click here for an article introducing the Nagoya base), and the Enterprise Sales Division deal directly with merchants, while the Partner Sales Division is mainly responsible for promoting the expansion of merchants and the use of PayPay payments by interacting with payment agents. Among them, the Partner Sales Department acts as a contact point with payment agents that deal with offline (physical) stores and online stores. Ono-san and I are part of the team that handles the offline stores. Also, our department is central to the expansion of “>PayPay Bill Payments.

Thank you. You are working to increase the number of stores and opportunities to use PayPay through our partner payment agencies, as well as increase the use of PayPay at those stores.
*Click here to learn more about stores that accept PayPay.

Akitsugu Ono
Yes, our primary mission is to build rapport with our partner payment agencies. We are always thinking about how we can make payment agents understand the advantages of signing a deal with PayPay, and how they can communicate the benefits of introducing PayPay to the merchants they have dealings with.

Job description

Could you give us a brief description of what you both do?

Hai So
Our main duties include adjusting fee rates, coordinating participation in campaigns, and responding to daily inquiries from payment agents. We respond to requests and questions from them and sometimes work to resolve system issues.

We are striving to build good relationships with our partners and to make polite and speedy communication daily, so that they would be willing to refer more new merchants, and so that we can work together to examine and implement measures to increase the use of PayPay.

I’m also a member of a company-wide, operation improvement project, which is a cross-functional project for business enhancement.

What kind of work do you do as team leader, Ono-san? In addition, is there anything that you do to ensure that work proceeds smoothly when it’s difficult to get together during the pandemic?

Akitsugu Ono
My main duties as team leader are to join in on business meetings between partners and my team members, decide future directions with higher-ups based on my team’s efforts and results, as well as the current status, and make team members implement them. Since everyone is doing their job well, I leave it up to them to a certain extent, but if there are any problems or issues, we find a way to solve them together.

It’s difficult to have a grasp on the condition of every member given the current situation with Covid. I try to get as much information as I can, such as by looking at their overtime status and Slack messages, to get an idea of each person’s situation. If the workload increases, or if I see that someone may need to be attended to, I try to communicate with them casually at regular meetings or sometimes through 1-on-1s.

We usually use the WFA(*) system, but we met at the office for team building while closely monitoring the spread of Covid.

*Abbreviation for “Work from Anywhere at Anytime. A new way of work that allows employees to work anywhere in Japan at any time, as long as they are in an environment where they can perform well.

Difficulties and Rewarding Aspects

What do you find difficult or challenging for the Partner Sales Department?

Akitsugu Ono
As I mentioned earlier, we don’t do sales directly, but first need to convince our partners about the benefits of signing up with PayPay. And we need to consider how to ask the partners to refer PayPay to their related merchants. That’s the tough part and where our skills are put to the test. It can be very rewarding, though.

Hai So
I don’t think it’s limited to our department, but before the pandemic, things worked smoothly when we met face-to-face. Now we need to explain in detail via email or Slack, which takes up a lot of time. I think my skills in communicating my thoughts and ideas via writing online have improved (laughs).

Even under this situation we planned and implemented a PayPay coupon program with one of our partners, which turned out to be an extreme success and brought us a great sense of accomplishment. I was very happy when we were able to create a win-win-win situation where merchants were able to increase their sales by using PayPay coupons, and our partners and PayPay were able to earn payment fees.

Akitsugu Ono
We feel rewarded when we are able to contribute to companies that are successfully using PayPay in their campaigns and advertisements to increase their business performance even in the midst of a difficult situation with Covid.

Ono-san, Team Leader (left) and So-san (right)
Ono-san, Team Leader (left) and So-san (right)

Goals for the Future

Hai So
The first thing we need to do is to make PayPay more closely connect with people’s lives as a super app. Also, although this may be a long way off, if the time comes for PayPay to expand outside Japan, I would like to make use of my overseas experiences to play an active role.

Akitsugu Ono
By collaborating with our partners, we would like to increase the number of places that adopt PayPay and improve the usage rate to create a society where PayPay is all you need.

A Message to People Interested in Joining PayPay or Partner Sales

Hai So
I think our team is very open-minded, as is throughout PayPay. Our company is perfect for those who want to actively challenge themselves in many ways. In addition, PayPay offers the WFA system, which makes it easier for people like me, who are raising children, to work.

Akitsugu Ono
If you are thinking about applying for a job at PayPay, I hope you join PayPay while keeping your honest opinions as a user. Your ideas could be a hint to make PayPay even bigger. It would be great if you can join us to help Japan go cashless!

The members of Team 2, Partner Sales Department, where Ono-san and So-san belong.This was the first time the whole team came together in person.

[Editor’s Note:]
Thank you both for your time today!
The Partner Sales Division, to which Ono-san and So-san belong, is currently recruiting members. Why don’t you take up the challenge of further expanding the fast-growing cashless payment service in a unique and energetic organization?

See our currently available open positions here

About this series
As mentioned in the beginning, we believe that the availability in many places is the reason why 43 million users, or more than one-third of Japan’s population, are using PayPay. By showcasing the activities behind PayPay’s growth and bringing the voices of salespeople to the fore, we want our readers to learn the secrets behind PayPay’s rapid progress in leading Japan to become a cashless society. Moreover, if you are interested in what it’s like to be a PayPay salesperson, we hope you will gain a better understanding of the work we do through this series.

Special thanks to Nagoya Sales Office Member / Edited by Sota(PayPay Inside-Out)
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.