PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

Contributing to Users’ Experience as a Professional of Financial System Development


This Professionals series showcases talented experts who support PayPay Group’s operations.
In this issue, we will bring the spotlight a web frontend/backend engineer who is in his fourth year with PayPay Card and serves as a group leader.

Shuta Iwasaki

System Development Group 2, System Development Department, PayPay Card Corporation

He joined PayPay Card in 2019. Since 2020, he has been involved in the PayPay Card project as an engineer responsible for the development related to PayPay Card and Pay Later.

Working in the Company

Please tell us about your responsibilities at PayPay Card.

When I first joined PayPay Card as a new graduate, I was involved in the renewal of the core system and the front page of the internal portal site with the Quality Assessment Team. Since July 2020, I have been working in the System Development Department as the leader of the System Development Group 2, where I am in charge of the front- and backend development of PayPay Card’s website and “Pay Later,” which is one of PayPay’s mini apps. Every day is exciting because my work is about connecting PayPay and PayPay Card.

Could you tell us about how the development environment is constantly being updated?

I feel that the biggest shift that I’ve seen since I joined PayPay Card is a change in development methods. In particular, financial systems were generally developed using a waterfall model in the past, but I feel that the introduction of agile and scrum development had a significant impact on my work. This may be a generalization, but the reason why we decided to go with agile development was that it took us a long time to plan and roll out a service, and we were not able to deliver it to our users in a speedy manner. We had to make multiple fixes after the implementation was complete, which slowed down the overall release.

That’s why we adopted agile methodology, in which the development processes are divided into smaller steps and executed in short cycles. For example, if there are 10 steps from planning to release, we divide them into ten by function, and work on them one by one. Iterations and releases can be repeated in a short span of time, so you can brush up the features as you go on. In addition, by adopting the agile development approach, we were able to shorten the time required for modifications even if specification changes occurred during the development process, and to build a system that allows us to release products that incorporate the requests from users in a flexible manner.

Is there anything you keep in mind when taking on new challenges?

When starting something new, there are many difficult aspects to it, such as where to start and how to change the mindset of the team. So what I particularly focused on was daily communication. I made sure to have a 10-minute morning meeting every day so that everyone is always aware of the current status and has a clear idea on what is going on and at what stage. By continuing to communicate this way, the awareness of the developers gradually changed . Currently, there are nine members in my team, and we are constantly communicating with each other both offline and online. Now, I feel that we were able to create an open culture within the team where the members can ask each other for support whenever they have a problem, and are adaptable to sudden changes.

What do you value in development?

The top priority for me is to develop products from our users’ perspective. Development work on a tight schedule makes you focus only on what’s in front of you, but that doesn’t help you make what users want or even exceed their expectations. By putting yourself in the shoes of users, asking questions like, “If we do this, will it be more convenient for users?” or “What other features would make it easier for users to use Pay Later?” you can factor in the user-friendliness in your implementation. I believe this perspective is the key to making PayPay Card the top, unparalleled financial and credit service.

Pay Later screen

What else do you pay attention to besides the users’ perspective?

I also tell my members this, that it is important to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page about the final product before designing something. In order to quickly provide users with services they can use with peace of mind, I make sure to have sufficient communication with relevant departments in advance as well as to get aligned with them on the image of the final product. By being aware of what will happen to the product after the release, our thinking changed from only doing what is within the scope of our responsibility to working to solve issues for a better user experience. I feel this is a crucial perspective to have in product development.

Have you always loved making things?

I have always loved making things, and wanted to become either an architect or an engineer. But with the rapid spread of IoT, I started thinking vaguely that it would be fun to work as an engineer. In college, I enjoyed learning about detecting shapes and other things that change rapidly and controlling them (control engineering), which brought me closer to the path of becoming an engineer. Among the many companies that I had an interview with, I decided to join PayPay Card because I was attracted to its culture including its atmosphere and people. I saw some employees enjoying what they do together during the interview, which was a pleasant surprise for me because it went against my preconception about the financial industry (laughs).

What is exciting about my work now is that PayPay Card gives me so many opportunities to grow and that what I have learned in one project is connected to the next interesting project that I work on. Being involved in the development of a financial application that boasts one of the largest number of transactions in Japan is not something that anyone can experience, so that notion really motivates me to work.

Is there anything you would like to try at PayPay Card in the future?

As it is a financial institution, I would like to contribute to ensuring solid development, and making it an organization that nonetheless allows for aggressive development as well. In order to get there, I would also like to further increase our development speed. I always get excited about new projects proposed by professional marketers, especially when I think about delivering the products to users as quickly as possible.

Ideally, it would be best if engineers could get involved in the process from the beginning and work with the planning team, designers, and marketers from scratch. I think it would be interesting to have a pilot team of experts from each field and work on a project together from end to end.

For Engineers Interested in Joining PayPay Card

What would you like to say to engineers who want to be your team member?

The System Development Team can deliver services directly to users. Because we work closely with the department responsible for service planning, we are setting up a system that allows us to be involved in the upstream process, such as corporate strategy and business operations improvement, which we would like to engage in the future. So we welcome those who want to bring new innovations to PayPay Card and Pay Later! If you want to take on the challenge of creating new values for users by providing new services, rather than waiting for instructions on development, you will be a perfect fit for PayPay Card.

Also, I personally value having your own “favorite moments.” I want you to bring your passion together with you, whether you like to be appreciated by others, to create things, or to support others. Working at PayPay Card where everything moves fast can be challenging sometimes, but I believe our passions will help us push forward in those difficult times.

Current job openings

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

Special Thanks: Shuta Iwasaki / Editor: Danata / Author: PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team / Photographer: Tak
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.