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Forefront of Going Cashless Vol. 5 - Team 3, Channel 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 merchants across 3.66 million locations.

Due to this rapid expansion, which led to us acquiring over 47 million users, many people are now commenting that they can use PayPay in numerous locations and there are many stores which only accept 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.

In this issue, we spoke with members of Team 3, Channel Sales Department, Partner Sales Division.

Masakazu Yamamoto

Manager, Team 3, Channel Sales Department, Partner Sales Division

After working for a drugstore and an e-commerce related company, he joined Yahoo! JAPAN. After working in advertising sales and marketing at Yahoo, he joined PayPay in October 2018. He was in charge of merchant sales for medium- and small-scale merchants until March 2021 and became the Manager of Team 3 in the Channel Sales Department in April 2021. His hobby is saltwater fishing. Since his daughter (four years old) was born, he has been spending the weekends with her.

Ryota Okawara

Team 3, Channel Sales Department, Partner Sales Division

After working in corporate sales at SoftBank, he joined PayPay in October 2018 with a desire to be involved in cutting-edge business related to the SoftBank Vision Fund, which invests in growing companies. He has been a member of the web-based merchant onboarding team since its launch. His hobbies include playing musical instruments such as the guitar and drums. He also enjoys singing while playing the guitar.

About the Team

PayPay Inside-Out Sota

First of all, please tell us about the Partner Sales Division and what role your department, the Channel Sales Department, plays in it.

Masakazu Yamamoto

As mentioned in the previous article of this series, the Partner Sales Division is responsible for expanding the number of merchants and promoting the use of PayPay payments primarily through communication with external partners. There are four teams in the Channel Sales Department, all of which have a very different set of partners and initiatives. Some teams work with gateway companies or companies that provide unattended payment services such as vending machines, game arcades, parking lots, etc., while our Team 3 works with agencies that can mediate PayPay subscriptions to expand the number of merchants and promote the use of PayPay payments, as well as recruit PayPay merchants online. Another team promotes PayPay so that it will be used more. In addition, there’s even a team in the Channel Sales Department called Partner Promotion, which provides support for various tasks so that each team in the Partner Sales Division can focus on sales.

PayPay Inside-Out Sota

Thank you very much. I understand that the Partner Sales Department in the same division mainly works with payment processing companies, but the Channel Sales Department you both belong to works with a wider variety of external companies to expand the use of PayPay?

The interviewees (left: Yamamoto-san, right: Okawara-san)
The interviewees (left: Masakazu Yamamoto, right: Ryota Okawara)

About the Job

PayPay Inside-Out Sota

Can you tell us briefly what you two do?

Ryota Okawara

Team 3 is responsible for expanding the number of PayPay merchants both via the web and through agencies, and I am primarily responsible for the web-based initiatives. Instead of going directly to stores to recommend PayPay, we created a page on our website to recruit PayPay merchants and are implementing a system that allows store owners to apply for PayPay from there.

Specifically, we created content that describes PayPay’s services, fee structure, benefits, and actual use cases, and we post and manage advertisements online to attract people who might be interested in PayPay. We also work with call centers to provide useful information to those who inquire about PayPay while recommending our subscription services—inside sales, in other words.

We also create the documents for customers who request information materials.

A sample of merchant recruiting pages of PayPay
A sample of merchant recruiting pages

Masakazu Yamamoto

As a Manager, my main role is to follow up with the members to ensure that their work online and with agencies proceeds smoothly. In the web domain, for example, I attend business meetings with advertising agencies, make decisions on the implementation of paid ads, do final checks on creatives, and undertake plans proposed by other departments and assign tasks to team members.

Ryota Okawara

We are a team that is often involved in creatives. Just this morning, everyone on the team was wondering what do about the contents (laughs). There are various ways to disseminate, like with emails, direct mails, etc. The content can range from “Would you like to become a PayPay merchant?” to promoting a further increase in the use of PayPay, and to those that recommend more effective uses of sales promotion tools such as PayPay Coupons, PayPay Stamp Cards, and so on. So, we work together from conception and production to confirmation, distribution, and verification.

PayPayAn example of a tool
An example of a tool

Difficulties and Rewarding Aspects

PayPay Inside-Out Sota

So, please tell us about the difficulties and gratifying aspects about your job.

Masakazu Yamamoto

When I first came to PayPay, I did sales by going directly to stores to explain the service and get them to adopt it. With the Channel Sales Department’s line of work, we cannot meet the customers we handle. That difference makes this job difficult. We need to get people interested in the product or decide to introduce it based solely on the information online. I think this is both a challenge and the most interesting part of our job.

Recently, in addition to the adoption of payment services, we have been promoting the introduction of PayPay Coupons and Stamp Cards via the web, which are sales promotion tools. This is more difficult than just getting people to decide to use our payment services.

The most rewarding part about this job is when we see results. It is interesting to see the number of applications change after modifying the subject line of an email or making a creative edit to the wording of an ad. It’s certainly rewarding to see how such tricks can lead to greater results. We also have a page that features voices of merchants who adopted PayPay. During interviews, we ask them, “How do you feel after actually using PayPay?” We hear from business owners, “I’m glad we’re using PayPay!” or “Business is going better!” I was quite happy to hear those in person.

PayPay : Page to introduce actual use cases
Page to introduce actual use cases

Ryota Okawara

Just as Yamamoto-san said, we can’t meet our customers individually, so we try to imagine the customers’ situation, requests, and challenges and try to prepare contents that comprehensively match various people. Meanwhile, we also write articles while hypothesizing who might be the kind of customer that needs PayPay, and encourage readers to apply for the services. The other day, we put out content with the idea of appealing to store owners who will be opening new stores in the future, and we happily received many applications. This is just one example, but we get really excited when our initiatives lead to results.

Impressions of PayPay, Organizational Vibes, etc.

PayPay Inside-Out Sota

Are there any differences in the impression you get and the atmosphere between your previous job and PayPay? Also, what are the characteristics of the Channel Sales Department and what are the vibes like?

Ryota Okawara

PayPay is more open, in part because my previous job was in a larger organization than PayPay. I don’t know how it is now, but when we worked on a project at my previous job, it was often propelled by entire departments through meetings, Whereas at PayPay, there is a lot of person-to-person interactions, and things move forward quickly via the people in charge. I was also very surprised at first that there were hardly any divies between me and my superiors and management (laughs).

Masakazu Yamamoto

Communication in Yahoo! JAPAN was rather informal, despite hierarchical relationships. That feel in PayPay may have come from Yahoo, but having said that, I feel more of an open atmosphere at PayPay. The company is currently in a period of growth and we have much to accomplish, but many of our employees are very proactive and are willing to move quickly and take the initiative.

Ryota Okawara

As is the case in other departments, the Channel Sales Department is made up of teams that perform a wide variety of tasks, each with their own expertise. We receive many inter-functional requests and consultations, like “Can you make this kind of website?” “Can you send out an email like this?”

Masakazu Yamamoto

Even now that telecommuting has become the norm, we still set up meetings as much as possible to check on each other’s workloads and conditions to prevent members from overwork. We also try to create an atmosphere where people can say anything to each other.

PayPay:Team members meeting at the office for the first time in a while
Team members meeting at the office for the first time in a while

Future Goals and Message to Applicants

Ryota Okawara

While increasing the number of merchants, PayPay is currently moving into a phase where we are encouraging merchants to use PayPay more frequently and actively use sales promotion tools such as PayPay Coupons and Stamp Cards. It is important to prepare useful content to let merchants know that PayPay is more than just about payments. Then we need to get them to view it and shift to inside sales, so we also want to increase the number of touch points.

PayPay is a company that encourages people to take on new challenges. The speed of our business is fast and there are many opportunities to take up new projects. If you are hungry for a challenge in your current environment, please come to PayPay!

Masakazu Yamamoto

As Okawara-san said, we want to increase recognition and use of the system as a tool to attract customers, not just as a payment tool. We are aiming to increase the number of merchants who are able to attract more customers because of PayPay. If you are looking for an open environment and a place where you can plan and execute your own projects, please come work with us at PayPay! It’s super rewarding to be in an environment where your actions directly impact your achievements.

About this series

We believe that over 47 million users, or more than one-third of Japan’s population, use PayPay because PayPay is available in numerous places. 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 any of 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.

Current job opening

Special Thanks: Team 3, Channel Sales Department, Partner Sales Division / Author & Editor: Sota (PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team) / Translator: Language Communication Team / Translation Editor: Justin
*Employees’ affiliations and other information are those at the time of the interview.