PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

Design Chit-Chat vol.12 – Finance Team

2023.05.29

About Design Chit-Chat

PayPay has grown into a mobile payment service with 57 million users, which is one in every two smartphone users in Japan. One thing that is indispensable in the service’s development is the presence of product members with rich personalities from more than 50 countries and regions around the world. The process of understanding both the “differences” and “commonalities” in each other’s thinking has transformed us into a team capable of creating ideas, approaches, and outputs that have never existed before.

In this Design Chit-Chat series, we would like to present a series of member’s voices to give you as direct a picture as possible of the PayPay Design Team and its atmosphere of craftmanship.

This time, we would like to introduce members of the Finance Team in the Design Department of the Product Division.

Zeke Kuo

Manager

I’m Zeke, a manager of the Finance Team. I’m from Taiwan and previously worked in Taiwan and Shanghai. Since my previous job was at a B2B company, I was attracted to PayPay as it would give me the opportunity to work on designs for a large user base.

Aerin Riangkruar

Hi,I’m Aerin from Thailand. After working for a consulting firm in Singapore, I came to Japan seven years ago and worked at a Japanese game company before joining PayPay.

Jane Susiriwatananont

Hello everyone! I’m Jane from Thailand. I came to Japan six years ago. I got interested in the financial industry after working as a financial consultant in my previous workplace, and decided to join the PayPay Finance Team.

Mariana Perez

Hi, I’m Mari from Brazil! I graduated as a Graphic Designer but later decided to transition into working with Digital Products. Taking advantage of my Japanese language skills, I relocated to Japan in 2016 to join a Japanese Web Design company. In January 2023, I joined PayPay.

Ting Jin

Hello, I’m Ting from China. I got my master’s degree in Japan and liked life in Japan, so after graduation I worked as a UX consultant at a Japanese IT consulting firm. Joined PayPay in 2023 to gain experience as a product designer and currently works as a UX designer.

What is the Finance Team’s mission?

Zeke :
The Finance Team’s mission is to provide the best possible user experience throughout the various financial services provided by PayPay by enabling each user to clearly envision how they can manage their money. Our goal is to design the app in such a way that it is not just a payment app, but an app that enables users to better understand their financial situation and take advantage of all the financial features available to them.
If you do not have a clear understanding of your financial situation, you may struggle to make good investments. One of our missions is to provide users transparency into their own finances and offer them options which they can use to their advantage.

Aerin :
I believe that our ultimate team goal is to integrate the financial services within PayPay into a single ecosystem. We want to provide users a visualization of how they can manage and grow their assets, and we hope to make it even more convenient for users.

What is your role in the team and what challenges do you face?

Jane :
I am in charge of designing Wallet, a feature which displays a list of key information, such as the user’s remaining balance, payment history, and PayPay Points.
The biggest challenge is finding a design that will provide enough information while creating an interface that will appeal to all members of our varied user base. Wallet is deeply linked to other services, such as payment history and credit cards, so we need to decide what kind of UI we want to create in collaboration with other departments.

Mariana :
I am primarily in charge of the PayPay Bill Payment feature, and my highest priority is to enhance the user experience of bill payment, especially considering the recent changes in business rules. We have been discussing what is the best way to help people understand how to use the system properly. We want to continue improving the feature, and to that end, user feedback is essential. Currently, I’m in the process of planning interviews with our users for insights on how to best achieve our goal.

Ting :
I am in charge of the Pay Later feature, and the challenge for me is to increase the use of the service. I believe that the designer’s skill lies in striking the perfect balance between providing users with the best UX whilst simultaneously achieving business requirements and targets.

Zeke :
My role in the team is design management, so my primary job is to balance everyone’s workload. I am also in charge of some smaller projects so that my team members can focus their efforts on their assignments and do not have to divide their attention.
Fortunately, we have many members who are very independent so I can confidently leave them to work on their own projects. Since I am not their supervisor, they don’t have to ask me to review their design. Instead, we have a system where each team conducts a design review and everybody shares some feedback. I like this non-hierarchical environment and also consider it to be a very attractive aspect of working at PayPay. I don’t feel the need to look for another company.

What is the charm of working as a PayPay designer?

Aerin :
I think it is an environment where designers’ voices are heard and taken into consideration. I have heard that at other companies, designers are not invited to meetings between the business members and Project Managers (PMs), and the requirements are then simply shared later. However, at PayPay, designers are always involved from the very beginning and we can express our opinions throughout the process.

Jane :
And even when we propose designs that are difficult to implement, the engineers won’t just tell us, “That’s impossible,” but they come up with an alternative idea. We have a cooperative relationship, where PMs, engineers, and designers all work toward the same goal.

Ting :
At PayPay, we always openly communicate with people from different departments and in different roles, whether they be designers, engineers, or business teams. Everyone is committed to the users and to PayPay, so I find it a very rewarding workplace.

Tell us about the culture of the Finance Team!

Mariana :
The general cooperativeness and the fact that everyone is supportive when you run into problems is a big part of the culture here at PayPay. Because we work online, I think everyone is open and willing to help when someone has a problem.

Aerin :
And everyone is friendly. The Finance Team meets twice a week, and when we don’t have anything particular to share, we will talk about our weekend plans or talk about our favorite food.

Ting :
I think the key is to have a healthy work environment and a diverse team. Our team includes people from all over the world, so it’s a good environment to hear new perspectives and new ideas.

Mariana :
Since we are not native Japanese and are designing for a Japanese user base, we are always trying to figure out the Japanese perspective.
Different countries and cultures have different patterns of behavior and points of view; we even have data showing that the way people hold and operate their smartphones is different depending on the country. We try to share this kind of knowledge with everyone.

Ting :
When releasing a new feature, we also look at the reactions on social media and the comments we receive on the App Store. We sometimes find that users use PayPay in ways we had not anticipated. As a designer, it is important to know how PayPay is actually used.

What challenges would you like to take on in the future?

Mariana :
Personally, I’m enthusiastic about create more opportunities to conduct more research and interviews with our user base, depending on the priority of the project. I want to foster a Strategic Design culture at PayPay, where we value user feedback before diving into develop new features. If we do that, we can uncover any blind spot that can make our design better and efficient for our users. And we can release new things with more confidence.

Zeke :
What I would like to do is build a consistent and universal design system. Once we have a design system in place, we can efficiently produce consistent designs that follow our guidelines. Reusing components would eliminate a lot of effort required for creating a new UI. I would like to create a user-friendly and worker-friendly environment by keeping a consistent design throughout the app.

Aerin :
I want to make sure that the entire Finance Team can share information with each other and work as one team, even though everyone is in charge of a different product. For example, if you lack an understanding of the whole picture, then you will be at a loss when trying to connect product A with product B. I believe that thinking about UI/UX for the entire suite of financial services will make it easier for users and provide a better UX.

Ting :
I feel like we each have a piece of the puzzle in our hands right now and we are in the process of putting that puzzle together. So I would like to be able to complete that puzzle quickly and provide a holistic UX to users.

Jane :
I would also like to be able to go deeper into user research. For example, even though we have data on “what percentage of users acted in this way,” we don’t actually know the reasons behind that data. By researching users directly, we can have a wider understanding of the problem and find a solution.

A message to our readers please!

Aerin :
The PayPay Design Team is made up of people from many different countries, but we get along quite well and we all find our work extremely rewarding. You can take ownership of your own design and a new challenge pops up every day. If you like solving problems and are passionate about pursuing better design, this place would be for you!

Zeke :
I would love to work with people who are open to the opinions of others. Members of the Finance Team, as well as the entire Design Team, are all open-minded and willing to share the feedback we receive with others. I think that is definitely an important part of updating the workplace environment.
If you’re someone who would enjoy the work here and gives your best, I think you’ll get what you’re looking for at PayPay (and maybe even more)!

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*Recruitment status and employee affiliations are correct at the time of the interview.