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Event Report: PayPay Recruiting Event for Finance Business Development & Planning Product Developers

Keiko

04/15/2022

The PayPay Recruiting Event for seasoned professionals in the finance and fintech industries was held on Friday, March 18, 2022. The event was packed with fascinating information about PayPay’s finance business, including an explanation of the operations and a Q&A session.

For those who attended the event, please read this article as a reminder, and for those who unfortunately couldn’t make it, we will try to give you a feel of what it was like.

We also have answers to questions that couldn’t be covered during the event due to time constraints, so we hope you read till the end.

Recruiting Event Overview

  1. Self-introduction of participating members
  2. Company profile explanation
  3. Introducing PayPay’s finance business
  4. Panel discussion
  5. Q&A
  6. Selection process and where to get more information

Introducing PayPay’s Finance Business

Yanase-san, Division Head of the Finance Business Strategy Division, introduced the three financial services that PayPay has created so far. Please open the PayPay app to see them in action!

We’ve launched three services: point management (Earn Points), Insurance, and Pay Later.

First, about point management. Launched in April 2020, the service already grew to 5 million users.

It is designed so that PayPay Points, granted for payments made with PayPay, are actually invested by linking them to American ETFs, resulting in an increase or decrease in points. We offer three courses to choose from, and while other companies have point management services as well, what makes PayPay unique is the fact that you can add and withdraw at any time, starting at one yen. The service allows you to make the points work for you, rather than letting them just stay put.

Next is the insurance mini app. This is a service allowing users to purchase insurance through the app, one option being an insurance providing a solatium if you get Covid. The number of applications for it has already exceeded 200,000, partly due to the spread of the Omicron variant. It took other companies about a year and a half to reach this number, whereas we did it in a month and a half.

Speaker: Masayoshi Yanase, Division Head, Finance Business Strategy Division
Speaker: Masayoshi Yanase, Division Head, Finance Business Strategy Division

And finally, Pay Later, launched very recently in February. Until now, PayPay has been more of a prepaid service, where users top up their balance to make payments. With Pay Later, which works like a credit card, you can shop at any time and pay on a fixed date the following month.

While it is an extension of payment, since it is a credit card-type service, we are promoting it as part of the financial domain. We have a special UI/UX for this. Users can choose whether to pay with their prepaid PayPay Balance or Pay Later with a single button. We call Pay Later “Blue PayPay,” and are promoting it as a new initiative.

Panel Discussion

Next followed the highlight of the event, the panel discussion. Facilitated by Kawata-san, Division Head of the Finance Business Promotion Division, three speakers shared the behind-the-scenes of PayPay!

Speakers

Facilitator

Hiroki Kawata

Division Head, Finance Business Promotion Division. Responsible for promoting financial businesses through communication with financial institutions and financial business companies within the group.

Panelists

Masayoshi Yanase

Division Head, Finance Business Strategy Division. Leads the division in drawing up strategies and planning for financial businesses. He has been involved in the fintech industry from before PayPay was founded, and is currently working hard to create new financial services with PayPay.

Sho Kawakami

Finance Business Planning Department, Finance Business Strategy Division. Mainly responsible for the insurance mini app. He joined a major IT company as a new graduate and was seconded to a bank within the group. After working there for four and a half years, he joined PayPay in August 2021.

Kotaro Uemura

Product Manager, Product Division. Joined PayPay after launching Yahoo! JAPAN Money as a payment service manager at Yahoo! JAPAN. Currently in charge of mini apps in the financial domain and in connecting with financial institutions for eKYC identity verification.

Flow of Planning, Developing, and Launching a Business

Kawata

Please tell us what kind of work you do on a daily basis to roll out your services as we are about to expand our business more and more,

Kawakami

Let me talk about the insurance mini app, which I’m responsible for. We are carrying out the planning and development of the mini app with an agency called PayPay Insurance Services, which is also a part of the ZHD Group. Based on the easy to understand UI/UX developed for PayPay’s payment business, the objective is to provide insurance as a more approachable product. We conduct agile development, in which requirements are defined first and foremost from the user’s perspective and reviewed many times, while also taking into account precedents from overseas.

We are currently in the growth phase and are responding to the times by communicating closely with our partners and

insurance mini app

Kawata

Kawakami-san, you worked at a financial services company before joining PayPay. Is there anything unique about PayPay compared to your previous workplace?

Kawakami

I see every day that PayPay is very mindful of the “user first” concept. I believe that PayPay’s strength lies in its ability to respond quickly and flexibly, while maintaining the user-centric mentality at its core.

Kawata

So PayPay’s uniqueness comes from the clarity of its services to the user and speed. What kind of day-to-day operations lead to the rollout of your products?

Uemura

As a product manager, I’m involved in one form or another and to varying degrees in the services mentioned earlier – point management, insurance, and Pay Later. The development team can be broadly divided into the following: designers, developers and product managers. This team, and the business teams of Yanase-san and Kawata-san work together to create services as they discuss and build them. Since we bring our respective viewpoints to the table, we all try to create the product mainly off of the idea of building the UX we want to achieve, rather than basing it on the existing structure.

Kawata

What do you do when you have conflicting opinions in a discussion?

Uemura

We continue to discuss and debate the ideas from both the product and business perspectives. Since we’re all looking to achieve the same objective, we can have discussions without going off track even when we butt heads. It’s like we’re debating over which path to take toward the goal, rather than bumping into each other because we can’t see what’s ahead.

Kawata

Yanase-san, since you promote the overall business, could you please tell us how you go about your work?

Yanase

Whenever we hold meetings, we focus on what we want to use or what would be convenient. That way, we don’t clash too often during discussions, going back to what you asked a moment ago. I think that by asking ourselves what we need or want in the first place, and what would be user-centric, we can create more and more good products.
Also, you mentioned speed earlier. I really believe that services are “perishable” goods. Releasing a product isn’t the end. We must always think about what the users are looking for, and daringly change the product in one or two weeks. I’d say that speediness is the reason why we’ve been able to achieve good results.

Current Issues and Tasks to Solve Them

Kawata

Could you tell us first from the product team’s perspective what challenges you’re currently facing, and go into specifics as to how you will be tackling them?

Uemura

Just like the business team, product team also constantly considers what kind of design and system architecture to adopt, so we can deliver easy to use services that we would want to use ourselves.

There are numerous rules in the finance industry that we have to abide by. I think the biggest challenge is to provide a great UX to users through collaborating with multiple teams, including the business team, legal team, and business operations team, alongside refining our product into its ideal form while adhering to these rules. For example, we perform identity verification via JPKI, using the My Number Card. Many services require the user to enter their password twice, but we discussed how to bring it down to one time while still complying with the law, and were able provide the best UX conceivable at the time. Having said that, we still find issues even after rollout. Even now, we’re working hard to provide a more user-friendly experience bit by bit, making minor improvements about twice a month.

Yanase

Financial services are so commonplace that it’s difficult to figure out something new, as well as to understand what’s needed when there are already diverse options available. I think it is a challenge for me to find out what’s inconvenient about the current financial services compared to other internet ones.

Kawata

Kawakami-san, what are the challenges you’re facing right now, and what would you like to work on ASAP?

Kawakami

We’re currently exploring what the next major product could be after the COVID Insurance. Changing the appeal of the COVID Insurance while being sensitive to users’ reactions, such as checking social networking sites, is something I would like to get my hands on soon.

Things to Do Going Forward with PayPay’s Finance Business

Kawata

Please tell us what kind of challenges you would like to take on through PayPay’s finance business.

Yanase

We want to lower the bar of entry to financial services, and make them truly available to everyone. We’ve only released three so far, but we’d like to handle all things money-related in the future. Japan is said to be weak when it comes to financial literacy, but I would like us to be the one to change that stereotype.

Kawakami

In terms of insurance, I would like our current products to achieve top-of-mind awareness for small amount and short term insurance. PayPay has been providing fun and exciting experiences through payments, and we would like to offer users a captivating experience in the financial domain too.

Uemura

Personally, I’m a bit intimidated by securities and investments, and I also think that insurance is difficult because I don’t know what to buy. I would like to work together with users to gain experience in financial services, and take on the challenge of creating better services and products.

Career and Work Opportunities at PayPay

Kawata

From what each of you have observed so far, please tell us the characteristics of people who work at PayPay and what kind of career you can expect from working here.

Kawakami

I think there are a great many people at PayPay who hold a user-first perspective, regardless of their department.

I also feel that I’m on a career path where I can grow by creating a new form of finance. I am working at the forefront of this fintech trend. There are many challenges every day, but I think it’s very important for employees at PayPay to enjoy growing, and make sure that they grow at least as fast as the company does.

Uemura

In a word, the Product Division is characterized by diversity. We have a lot of people of different nationalities, genders, and ages. We are also a flat organization. There aren’t as many management positions as there are in a typical financial institution, so everyone is pretty equal and exchanges various ideas with the “users first” mindset.

Yanase

As you said, it is a diverse environment. We really want people from all walks of life to join us, and I think it’s a place where people can make the best use of their experience and knowledge.

You also don’t have to limit your activities to PayPay, but can also plan and execute intra-group collaboration initiatives on your own. That means you can experience transforming good things in Japan and around the world into specific businesses.

We would like to invite people who have knowledge and expertise in finance, but who would also like to solve problems from the user’s point of view, or who like to dig deep into causes and execute measures on their own. I can assure those who think this way that we have a place where you can work to your heart’s content.

Q&A Session

After the lively panel discussion came the Q&A. There were many questions about goals and career development.

We also covered some additional questions that we didn’t have time to answer during the event! We are truly thankful for all the questions you asked.

Q
I would like to hear more details about the speed of how you conduct business.
A

From product’s point of view, the development method depends on the project, but we use the agile method and plan two-week sprints. In that period, we develop, test, pre-release, and check, then repeat the cycle over and over again. We have some benchmarks while looking at actual user behaviors and then make improvements. All this in a relatively short span of two to three weeks.

Q
How do you communicate in a fully remote work environment, and do you have people living in rural areas?
A

There are people I talk to every day who tell me, “I just found out you actually live in Nagoya.” We now understand that no matter where you live, technology allows you to work anywhere.
If I need to take care of my children or something, I set a time to halt my work and schedule a different time slot to compensate for those hours. These things can happen, so you can be flexible about it and still get your job done.
Also, I don’t see any problem with communication, as you can do that using Slack or Zoom. I decided to adapt to the situation, so if you’re prepared to adapt as well, I think you can do it too.

Q
Are your KPIs focused on revenue or something else?
A

We place emphasis on revenue so we can provide services in a sustainable manner, but of course the number of users and the number of times the service is used are also our KPIs. Additionally, this may sound qualitative rather than quantitative, but we (including the CS Division) are constantly on the lookout for feedback from social networking sites and users, and make improvements so that we can ultimately maximize the numbers we target as KPIs.

Q
What are the challenges other than the pursuit of convenience?
A

That would be increasing users’ awareness.
Even if you’re not aware that something is cumbersome, once you start using something more convenient, you realize how much better it is. This happens quite often. So I think one of our big challenges is to communicate it to our users and make them aware of this. We pursue convenience, but if people don’t know about it, it’s meaningless. It’s important for people to know about it and use PayPay.

Q
Which companies do you consider competitors?
A

Rather than just looking at any one particular business, we research the services of various companies that offer financial services. We try to incorporate great ideas not only from the financial sector but also from the internet as a whole, and from overseas as well.

Q
Do you have plans to develop services in the to-business area (merchants and service providers in general with an eye on payroll) and the to-employee area (employees of merchants and service providers)?
A

PayPay is a service for both users and merchants. Naturally, we believe that new businesses and new services could be offered in the to-business and to-employee domain as well. However, if we do enter that market, we would like to offer something unprecedented in a way that demonstrates our strengths.

Q
After joining the company, are there be opportunities to transfer to different departments and improve one’s skills? Or do your prefer employees to refine their skills in one department to become an expert?
A

PayPay has a “hiring-for-a-job” system where we hire professionals for their respective duties, so we have no job rotation or something of the like. In general, we expect employees to be professionals who excel in their field when working in the company and enhance their skills in their area of expertise. However, the company is still growing, and many opportunities for individual growth are being created every day, sometimes through cross-departmental initiatives. Of course you will have to decide whether to go for it or not, but in terms of your career, I believe that you will see many opportunities to take on new challenges.

Q
Are there any members in the finance business divisions who previously worked in sales?
A

Although some have experience in sales, many have had careers in business planning or such in addition to it. Plus, there are no sales positions in PayPay’s Finance Business Development and Promotion teams, so my subordinates engage in a broad range of work while making use of their sales experience.

A Message from Division Heads in the Finance Business Group

Masayoshi Yanase

Division Head, Finance Business Strategy Division

I alluded to this during the event, but I think the most important thing is to not simply accept the current financial services in Japan as they are, but to ask, “Why is it like this?” or figure out how you want to make it more convenient. Let’s work together to make our “wants” a reality!

Hiroki Kawata

Division Head, Finance Business Promotion Division

As we talked about it during the event, there are still a lot of things that we want to do and need to do for PayPay’s finance business. If you want to work together with us to move PayPay’s finance business forward and spread it throughout the world, we would love to hear from you!

Information

Please see the pages below for a more detailed overview of the company and the selection process.

Also, check out PayPay Inside-Out to get a find out PayPay’s people and culture that you can’t get a feel for in the hiring page. If we got you interested in PayPay, please look use the links below as a reference to understand the company more.

About WFA

Important work values at PayPay and its corporate culture


Thanks to: Masayoshi Yanase, Hiroki Kawata, Misako Ichikura / Editor: Keiko (PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team) / Translator: Justin / Translation Editor: Language Communication Team
*Employees’ affiliations as of the time of the interview.