PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

LIFE IN JAPAN vol.3 – from New Zealand


The “LIFE IN JAPAN” series showcases the lifestyles of PayPay employees from 50 different countries and regions who have moved to Japan.
In this issue, we interviewed Denis Mateev from New Zealand about how he came to join PayPay and the secret to living on his own in a country with a different culture!

Denis Matveev

Product Group, Merchant Services Product Division, Technology Department, PLC Discovery

Hi everyone. My name is Denis and I work as a software engineer at PayPay’s Merchant Services Product Division. I came to Japan in December 2022 and plan on being in Japan for a long time!

What sparked your interest in Japan?

I visited Japan for three weeks in 2017 and traveled around the country with friends. At that time the climate, the nostalgic atmosphere, and the ease of travelling around really appealed to me so I made the decision to move here.

While Japan is known as one of the most advanced nations in the world, and at the same time it also has its own unique culture. It’s like being in a completely different world, yet also comforting. The density of the cities and the fantastic public transport network make Japan an even more appealing place to be. Personally, I love the narrow alleys of Japan and the lit-up streets of Shimbashi and Kanda.

Fascinated by Japanese alleys

Did you have any concerns before coming to Japan? And if so, how did you overcome them?

I wasn’t sure if my Japanese was good enough, and I imagined I would be socially isolated since it would be my first time living in a place where no one knew me. I am not a sociable person by nature, and I had heard that it was difficult to befriend Japanese people.

In fact, I was very apprehensive in my first week in Japan but then I told myself “I came all the way to Japan to immerse myself in a new world, but I am not going to accomplish anything if I just stay home!”

After that I began meeting up with my workmates and going to places where it’s busy with people every day so I could really focus on studying Japanese. Tokyo is a big city, with all kinds of activities, and the Japanese are very friendly and diverse! I realized that it was important I go out on my own and form connections with people.

After two weeks of starting work in Japan we had our end-of-year holidays, so I used that time to travel to Nagano with four friends I had previously met at a nightclub. We saw Matsumoto Castle, did the countdown to the New Year in Nagano, visited Zenkoji Temple, and enjoyed hiking in the snowy mountains!

My first experience at a Japanese ryokan (Japanese-style inn)
The wonderful Matsumoto Castle

How is your life in Japan?

I had spent plenty of time learning about Japan, so I didn’t really get a culture shock. I started learning Japanese in highschool and I’m relatively well read in history and I like Japanese media.

One difference in lifestyle I notice between here and home is how Japanese seem to enjoy fashion much more. There are so many choices and even salarymen sport their own unique styles. Plus, it’s very cheap! In Japan you can buy a tailored pair of fitted trousers for about the same cost as discounted shorts in New Zealand.

What is the key to adjusting to life in Japan?

Learning and using Japanese since I have come all the way here. Many of the things that I took for granted in my own country but feel as though I can’t do here can probably be achieved if I can communicate better.

Also, rather than wallowing at home and waiting to be struck down by homesickness, it’s better to get out there and enjoy myself. In Tokyo anything is possible.

I’ve made many friends over a game of Mahjong!

What are some challenges you want to take on in Japan?

I have a list of places I would like to all around the country. Like climbing Mt. Fuji, visiting the Ogasawara Island, and taking a drive through Shikoku. I also want to join a baseball team, learn calligraphy, and get a motorcycle license!
But my primary goal is becoming more fluent at speaking Japanese and making more Japanese friends.

Traveling pretty much every month!

What’s it like working at PayPay?

PayPay is an indispensable service in Japanese life, and I am truly happy to be working for PayPay. As an engineer, it is very rewarding to know that the products I have developed are being used by so many people and contributing to their daily lives. The company is leveraging the latest technology to further its growth so there is still plenty of things to do and more room for growth. It is very easy to work here as the remote work culture and flextime systems are fully established. And what’s more, the people I work with are wonderful! It was also my colleagues that helped me adjust to life here when I first arrived in Japan.

A word to those who want to come to Japan and work for PayPay?

PayPay has a really great working environment and the support is amazing, so if you’re interested in living in Japan, I recommend PayPay. ‌I can say I wholeheartedly have zero complaints.

Next time…
We will chat with an employee who came to Japan for the first time to pursue an opportunity at PayPay Don’t miss it!

Current job openings

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

Special Thanks: Denis Matveev / Editor, Author : Moe
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.