Defending to Pioneer Vol. 5, Corporate Legal
About the Defending to Pioneer Series
The Legal & Risk Management Division protects PayPay not only from cyberattack and fraud, but also from various risks in internal processes or ones that arise from changes in the business environment.
Although it is true that the division protects against threats directed at PayPay, this protective unit is also a group of specialists who work together to enable the company and employees to assertively move forward into uncharted territory. In this series, we will ask the heads of respective departments to explain their thoughts on the all-encompassing protection against risks, to keep PayPay the undisputed no. 1 in the industry. This fifth installment features the Legal & Compliance Department. We discussed what is required of this department at PayPay, which is characterized by its speed.
Senior Manager, Legal & Compliance Department
He started his career in corporate sales at a trust bank, and after studying at a law school in the U.S., he was in charge of intra-divisional legal affairs in the Securities Agency Division. In 2004, he joined Hewlett-Packard Japan Inc., where he served as manager and senior manager in business and corporate legal affairs, and later became division head of the Legal & Compliance Division of HP Japan Inc. following Hewlett-Packard Japan’s demerger. He moved to his current position in April 2021.
He likes to go on strolls with his 14-year-old Shiba Inu or drive to places with nature.
Protective Measures to Run an Assertive Business
Please tell us about the overall protection framework you handle.
What are your “offense” tactics despite you being a defensive division?
Many business professionals hold this general image that legal and compliance departments are guardians of the rules and avoid taking risks. In fact, I’ve heard from other companies that “Legal and compliance personnel are too ‘particular’ about their work that it stops business and is frustrating.”
So, what about PayPay’s Legal & Compliance Department? The speed at which the company drives business is quite fast, so we always think carefully and flexibly about what risks we need to contain and what the acceptable threshold is for each case. At the same time, we must proceed with a sense of speed. So, I try to keep in mind not to stagnate business by setting conservative decision-making lines that never fail or obsessing over things that have no real meaning.
Of course, “offense” does not mean making hasty decisions. We want to make assertive yet balanced decisions after observing various factors, such as published guidelines, recent enforcement cases (and seeing how regulatory authorities think), changes in society, and corporate scandals and judicial precedents reported in newspapers and other media.
What areas do you want to strengthen in the future?
The Legal & Compliance Department consists of six teams: Strategy, Contracts, Intellectual Property, Data & Marketing, Compliance, and Financial License Management. All the areas that these teams are responsible for are critical to the growth of PayPay’s business, so this may sound greedy, but we would like to strengthen all of them.
As a leader, what are some things you share with your team to be mindful of?
It’s simple, but I want everyone to grow through work.
You will spend a lot of time at work throughout your life. So, I want my team members to feel that they are clearly better this year (or even today compared to yesterday) than last year, not only in terms of knowledge, but also in terms of the quality of deliverables, speed of accomplishing tasks, and the satisfaction level of departments within the company that send us requests. Self-improvement will not only contribute to the company’s business, but also to each person’s job satisfaction. To that end, as a manager, I will encourage my members to grow.
The People PayPay Seeks for Its Defense and Offense
What sort of person would you like to see join PayPay?
It would be hard to find someone with legal experience in a company that is doing the exact same business as PayPay. At PayPay, we work with a team of experienced corporate legal professionals from a variety of industries, not only from the finance and app industry, but also from gaming companies, foreign IT companies, and travel companies. Experience in finance or apps is a plus, but even if you don’t have experience in either field, if you have the flexibility to absorb new things and the willingness to take on new challenges, you are welcome.
What skills are required in working with PayPay’s defensive framework?
First and foremost, a high level of interest and curiosity about the company’s business and other related departments. Second would be good communication skills. Just because the Legal & Compliance Department knows the laws and rules doesn’t mean we can protect PayPay. Our decisions are only appropriate when we apply laws, regulations, and rules to facts and reality. We can get accurate facts or a better understanding for what’s actually happening when we communicate closely with relevant departments to collect information and exchange opinions. So, it’s vital to have the skills to proactively gather information, rather than waiting for it to be given, and to accurately understand the information you have.
A message to those interested in joining PayPay.
In the three years since its founding, PayPay has grown to become the dominant leader in this industry. And we will continue to grow. In this new fintech field, I’m sure you will feel stressed at times over unexplored legal issues, but I believe that this is a stimulating workplace and one in which you can gain a lot of experience. We look forward to working with people who love taking on challenges.
Author: Tadashi Takeuchi / Supervisor: Yosuke Terada / Editor: Keiko (PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team) / Translator: Justin / Translation Editor: Seiko
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.