What is Design Chit-Chat?
PayPay has grown into a mobile payment service with 58 million users, which translates to 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 our members’ voices to give you as direct a picture as possible of the PayPay Design Team and its atmosphere of craftsmanship.
This time, we would like to introduce to you members of the Payment & Mini-App Team in the Design Department of the Product Division.
I’m Jonathan from Canada. After working as a designer at a startup in Silicon Valley, I came to Japan and further built my career in FinTech and global companies. Intrigued by the diverse backgrounds that make up PayPay’s culture, I joined the company in July 2022.
Hi! I’m Angelia, originally from Indonesia. I came to Japan in 2013 on a study abroad program when I was in university, and then worked for FinTech and video streaming companies in Japan after graduating. The international environment and numerous growth opportunities at PayPay were appealing, so I joined the company in May 2022.
I’m Lu from Beijing. After completing my graduate studies in the United States, I worked as an intern for a year before pursuing a career in design. After gaining experience in app and web design at a startup, I moved to Japan. I joined PayPay in May 2023.
Hello! I am Sunyoung, from Seoul. I have worked in various industries including e-commerce, entertainment, and FinTech. Drawn to the inclusive environment that champions diversity, I decided to join PayPay. Then, after a stint at a logistics company, I returned to PayPay in July 2023.
What is the mission of the Payment & Mini-App Team?
Our mission is to provide a better user experience and intuitive design for various QR code payment-related features. For example, we handle the screens where you choose your payment method and link other accounts to PayPay. Plus, we are in charge of creating mini app design guidelines for third parties.
What is your role in the team and what are some challenges you are individually facing?
As the Payment & Mini-App Team was newly created, I am currently figuring out how members can work comfortably and how we can move projects forward smoothly. One of the challenges is that the team is comprised of folks coming from diverse backgrounds, so communication styles may differ. Adding to that, when you have people working on different areas of expertise, conflicts and miscommunication can occur, making effective communication a challenge.
I’m primarily engaged with mini apps, but I’ve also recently been designing for payment-related projects, like with local governments. In this project, I find communication with municipalities challenging, since there are numerous organizational cultures out there, and even getting a confirmation can take time. To address this, I try to communicate as clearly and directly as possible.
I am currently working on a new project. I can’t talk about the details yet, but I’m trying to understand the background of the project and the intentions of the business folks, so that we can communicate smoothly.
I’ve been assigned to a project that aims to facilitate the smooth transfer of PayPay accounts when changing mobile phone numbers. I previously worked on the first and second phases of this project before temporarily leaving the company a year ago (I just returned a couple of days ago). In this third phase, we are focusing on enhancing user-friendliness by improving the user experience.
What challenges are you facing as a team?
The biggest challenge for us is how to encourage Japanese users, who still heavily rely on cash, to more actively utilize our payment features. Particularly, we want to make the user experience of our services easy for people who are not tech-savvy. To achieve this, conducting research to understand the market is crucial, and that’s why we included An in the research working group and are focusing our efforts here as a team.
There are a few methods you can user for research, such as data analysis and face-to-face user interviews. PayPay has been focused on releasing features with a sense of speed and hasn’t allocated much time for user interviews until about two months ago when we had the great opportunity to do it regarding identity verification. Going forward, I would be delighted if we could continue conducting payment-related interviews as we look out for any changes in user behavior.
Tell us about the culture of the Payment & Mini-App Team!
It’s a very friendly team. We can discuss our worries or complaints openly without having to hold them in, and that’s something I’m grateful for.
It’s a team where we can be frank with each other and freely exchange opinions and ideas. Jonathan created an environment where we can feel comfortable to voice our opinions, so I don’t need to hesitate when I want to mention something to the team.
I just returned to PayPay, but I was able to quickly fit in since everyone in the team is on equal footing and have interesting personalities.
I’m glad to hear that from everyone. I want to foster a team culture where everyone can freely share their opinions, concerns, and frustrations, so let’s continue on this course.
What challenges would you like to take on in the future?
This is connected to our mission, but I want to deliver better user experience to people using PayPay’s payment features. To that end, I plan to further spread the culture of research and data utilization.
I want to make PayPay a super app that can be used in any scene of our daily lives. To achieve that immense goal, I want to pursue designs that ensure security, satisfy our partners’ needs, and provide excellent user experience.
There’s still much room for cashlessness to spread in Japan, which I believe will lead to a better life. So I want to always be user-centric and make steady progress.
A message to our readers please!
At PayPay, there are a lot of designers from diverse backgrounds. Each person provides valuable and practical feedback from perspectives, making it a great learning experience. As a bonus, each person has a unique history, so chatting with team members is a lot of fun! Having colleagues who always remind you to be open-minded is one of the most significant plus sides of working at PayPay.
PayPay is a multicultural and open environment. If you enjoy tackling challenging problems, thinking flexibly, and collaborating with others, you’ll definitely have a great time here!
I would say that PayPay is the number one company where you can enjoy working and collaborating with members who have extremely different experiences. I look forward to seeing you at PayPay!
*Recruitment status and employee affiliations are correct at the time of the interview.