PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

Users’ Perspective Key to Unlocking the Future for Financial Services in Everyday Life


Get up close and personal with some of PayPay’s first-rate professionals.
In this issue, we introduce two of PayPay’s experts in the company’s promising financial services. We spoke with Suzuki-san of PayPay Corporation, creator of PayPay’s financial services, and Sakamoto-san from PayPay Card Corporation.

Tomoko Sakamoto

Finance Business Strategy Department, Finance Business Strategy Division

Joined YJ Card Corp. (now PayPay Card Corp.) in 2019. Concurrently worked for PayPay and PayPay Card since February 2022. She is involved in Campaign Planning, LP Creation, and Service Planning related to “PayPay Pay Later” and its distribution to users.

Yukari Suzuki

Credit Business Promotion Department, Finance Business Promotion Division

Joined SoftBank Corp. in 2015. While in charge of new tourism-related business, she had a meeting with PayPay, which led her to transfer to PayPay in 2018 as an open recruitment. Currently, she is in charge of Business Promotion of “PayPay Pay Later” in the Credit Business Promotion Department.

Jumping into PayPay and experiencing something new every day

How did you two come to PayPay?

I was originally in SoftBank, but I decided to try out the internal open application system for cross-functional transfers. So In 2018, I was seconded to PayPay by applying through that system (I transferred to PayPay in April 2020). At SoftBank, I was working to promote new businesses in tourism, until one day I had the opportunity to have a meeting with people from PayPay. Through the meeting, I realized that I wanted to work with them to alter Japan’s cash culture and make cashless payments the norm, since I was feeling that this cash culture was an issue when promoting our tourism business. In addition, I also saw PayPay members enjoying their work, so I took the leap.

The reason I transferred to PayPay in 2020 is because I still had things I wanted to do and going back would have been a waste! During my two years at PayPay, I learned that it was very rewarding to work in a business that can have a large impact on society in such a short period of time, and I wanted to contribute to the company becoming the top fintech corporation in Japan. Plus, I was sure that I could achieve this with the people I was working with then. I also like PayPay’s culture, where the unexpected happens every day, which is rather exciting and gives a sense of urgency to our work in a good way.

I joined YJ Card Corporation (now PayPay Card Corporation) in October 2019 and have been with PayPay since February 2022 holding a dual role.
Originally, before YJ Card, I was with a mail order company with less than 100 employees. One of my colleagues at that time went to YJ Card and this piqued my interest in jobs which deal with “money,” which is at the heart of logistics, mail order, and distribution. Yahoo! JAPAN Card (now PayPay Card) was responsible for the “payment” part of the Yahoo! JAPAN Group, which was an essential part of any service that the group provided, and was involved in a wide variety of services and people. I decided to join the company because I wanted to try working by leveraging group synergies that could not be realized by only a single service, and deliver new types of convenience and excitement to our customers. I also like to freely take on various new challenges, so I was attracted to such a corporate culture. 

I wanted to concurrently work for PayPay when the PayPay Card was released in 2021 and PayPay Pay Later in 2022. Since we were separate companies, I felt a barrier between the two. So when the ties between PayPay and PayPay Card became stronger, I felt a strong desire to absorb the fortes of PayPay while making use of the strengths of PayPay Card. I wanted to play a role in connecting the two companies in an environment where we could create a newer and more convenient payment experience that went beyond the concepts of “code payment” and “credit card payment.” So, now here I am in PayPay!

Please tell us about your work

In July 2022, I was transferred to the department in charge of promoting PayPay’s financial business, and now am in the team promoting the PayPay Pay Later business. I am in charge of user analysis and improvement activities for application leads, visualization of business KPIs (business report revisions and budget management), and promotion of diverse measures. Specifically, I analyze, improve, and promote daily application leads in order to encourage PayPay Card (or former Yahoo! JAPAN Card) holders to register for PayPay Pay Later and to use the service in PayPay’s economic zone.

Most recently, I have been in charge of studying and promoting the development of new acquisition routes across PayPay Card and PayPay on the lead sites that are frequently viewed by PayPay Card members, as an initiative to promote Pay Later registration.

I used to be on the acquisition team at PayPay Card. Currently, I am a member of the marketing team with a dual role in PayPay and PayPay Card. I am involved in planning PayPay Pay Later campaigns and figuring out the composition of landing pages and banners, and dissemination to users.
We are constantly experimenting with ways to communicate about Pay Later—what is easier for users to understand, what will make them want to use the service more, and so on. Major projects I was a part of were PayPay Pay Later, “Get 1% Back with PayPay Pay Later Campaign (December 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022),” “Chance to Win All Over Japan! Summer PayPay Jumbo: Up to two drawings with PayPay Pay Later (July 1, 2022 – August 31, 2022),” and “Chance to Win All Over Japan! Super PayPay Jumbo: Up to three drawings with PayPay Pay Later & eKYC (October 17, 2022 – December 28, 2022),” which is currently running. I am sure that some of our readers have participated in one of the campaigns or are using some of the fun services.

Please tell us a challenge you experienced at PayPay

As PayPay Pay Later is a service that has just been released, every single day has its challenges and is quite stimulating. At first glance, PayPay Pay Later seems to be a service within PayPay, but PayPay and PayPay Card are two companies working together to create a single product. So, the challenging and important part is to reconcile the differences between the services and systems of both companies.

In addition, during the “Get 1% Back with PayPay Pay Later Campaign,” which was released at the same time as PayPay Pay Later, the campaign specifications were changed at the last minute, and we had to coordinate with various parties to ensure that the campaign launch procedures were completed in time. Also, it was difficult to obtain approval at times, and in the meantime the specifications would get changed…

I found out that things get quite gripping right before launching when a new service and campaign are being promoted at the same time. Now, though, I think it was fun and exciting in a day-before-high-school-festival way (laughs).

I was a member of the project where we started charging merchant payment fees for small and medium businesses in October 2021.
I was in the Sales Promotion Department at the time. Due to the development schedule, we decided to switch from an automatic changeover for charging fees to a manual one. It was a very memorable project since we were only given a short delivery time with absolutely no room for error (laughs). Other than transitioning to charging fees, I was able to experience a wide range of tasks, including the design of operational flow, announcements to merchants, and sales promotion.

In the course of working with so many people from so many departments on this project, I was reminded of my colleagues’ strong determination to meet deadlines and their ability to think through matters and take ownership. I also felt the immense enthusiasm of the people working at PayPay.

Explanatory materials for merchants

Financial services expand as PayPay grows

What is the future of PayPay’s financial services?

In Japan, I think there is still a strong culture of trust in “cash”. Somehow, the part that is invisible and cannot be touched with the hand to feel its weight may lead to a sense of fear. That is a characteristic of the digital world, though.
Therefore, before experiencing the convenience of PayPay,it is important to be aware of the pain points users may have in their mind such as the hassle of registration or the uncertainty of how to use the app.

I would like to improve the service by capturing this information, and increase the user experience of people who have not used PayPay on a regular basis, but are now aware of its convenience, so they are naturally surprised when they have friends who have not used it. People can experience a variety of money movements with PayPay alone, without being restricted to PayPay Card or banks, so I would like to increase that experience and make financial services more commonplace in the world.

PayPay has reached 51 million users, but the number of those who use Pay Later service is still very small, and just as PayPay’s payments have become commonplace in the world, we would like to make deferred payment, which has a lot of potential, into such a form.

I think the major value that PayPay has brought to Japanese society is to break away from the cash culture. However, the hurdles for financial services are still high. So I feel that it would be great if we can open up a new culture for financial services in the same way, starting with Pay Later service, so that they can be used more generally. 

What kind of person do you think fits best in PayPay?

I had a perception gap in a good way before and after I joined PayPay Card! Before, when I heard the word “finance,” I got the impression that it was something rigid, but now I can be creative about it and try out many things. There is a culture of accepting each other’s opinions, so my members and I can exchange ideas smoothly.

People from many different countries work at PayPay, so there are a lot of folks who communicate in a straightforward and simple manner. That part of PayPay’s culture is very refreshing to me because I can work speedily and immediately know what others want to convey. You get a daily dose of excitement and a constantly changing environment at PayPay, while PayPay Card allows you to challenge yourself with an innovative way of working that is not bound by the conventions of the financial world. If you enjoy taking on challenges, this is the environment for you!

There are so many people with a strong will to commit at PayPay. “We will achieve our goal!” kind of mindset. On top of that, each person thinks through matters and give shape to their ideas. I enjoy that culture at PayPay (laughs). I get excited and feel pressure in a good way about things that happen unexpectedly, so every day is thrilling.
If you like to think for yourself and are curious, you will definitely enjoy working here. The environment allows for many challenges, which also means that you can be a part of rewarding projects that give you a great sense of accomplishment.

Current job openings

*The recruitment status is current at the time of the interview.

Special Thanks: Tomoko Sakamoto, Yukari Suzuki / Author: Danata / Editor: PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team / Photographer: Tak
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.