The “Professionals” series showcases talented experts who support PayPay Group’s operations. In this issue, we interviewed Hirata-san, who is the Senior Manager of the Product Marketing Department at PayPay Securities. We asked her about changing companies, projects that left an impression on her, and what she finds rewarding about her new job.
Senior Manager, Product Marketing Department, Marketing Division, PayPay Securities
After graduating from university, I worked at a securities company as a foreign stock sales promotion assistant and was involved in domestic bond dealing, business planning, and new business development. After experiencing the fun and speed of new business during a stint of secondment, I joined PayPay in 2021 to pursue new business development.
Into an Environment where New Business Development Can Be Done Rapidly
Tell us about your background and why you joined PayPay
Prior to joining PayPay, I worked for over 10 years at a traditional securities firm, which I joined after graduating from university. During my last three years there, I worked on new business development in collaboration with FinTech companies and found this new field interesting, as I was exposed to the ease and speed of decision making of FinTech companies. On the other hand, when I tried to adopt it in the securities firm, I often ran into obstacles such as not being able to do it because there was no precedent, so I began to think about changing jobs.
I wanted to develop new business with more speed and acquire skills for driving new business forward at a progressive company, and that’s when I found PayPay Group. I felt strongly about the future potential of the company because of its Earn Points service, a concrete solution to lowering the barrier of entry to investments, and the results it has achieved, as well as its capability to reach a large number of potential users through the PayPay app as an access point. In fact, I am currently involved in the rollout of a number of services in the form of a concurrent secondment to PayPay Securities.
Did you find anything different than you expected after joining the company?
There are many cases where it is difficult to coordinate between departments in regular securities firms, but I was surprised by the culture at PayPay Securities, where everyone is working together for the user, and not for their own careers.
I also felt that PayPay Group, despite being a new entity, has relatively well-developed systems and facilities. We have a good combination of the agility of a startup company, and an efficient and stable working environment.
Overcome Many Challenges Because We Are One Big Team
What is the mission and work of the Product Marketing Department?
Our mission is to provide services to a wide range of users, including beginners, through the planning, promotion, and marketing of financial products and app features offered by PayPay Securities.
Our work includes planning and releasing new financial products, services and app functions, as well as promoting growth through post-release UIUX improvements, marketing initiatives, and so on. We are planning to release more than 10 projects by the end of this fiscal year, and we still have a lot we want to do. The challenge is how to allocate human and development resources to promote each project, prioritizing them based on the benefits to the user and the company’s strategy.
Which projects made the biggest impression on you?
My first rollouts after joining the company, which were the start of PayPay integration for the “Oitamama Purchase” service (with which users can directly purchase stocks from their bank accounts), and the release of the “PayPay Invest” mini app. In both cases, I joined the project in the middle of it, fully took over, and served as project manager four months prior to release. In addition to examining business laws, coordinating with PayPay and PayPay Securities, and negotiating with the authorities, we also worked on agile release management and UIUX improvements immediately before and after the release.
Since we are working on things without precedent, new challenges arise every day, even a couple of months before release. With questions from the authorities and non-negotiables coming up in talks between PayPay and PayPay Securities, it was quite a challenge just to release the products on schedule. I kept thinking about whether there were any tasks that had been overlooked and if these services were the best for the users in the first place, and did all I could to resolve issues and make adjustments within the company.
Everyone involved with PayPay and PayPay Securities worked together as a team, and as a result of their generous support in areas I was unfamiliar with, we were able to successfully launch.
What motivates you to do your work?
What motivates me most is user feedback. It is very encouraging to see positive feedback in social media on the services we have released, and the comments and requests we receive also motivate us to improve UIUX.
The people I work with, such as the management of PayPay and PayPay Securities, supervisors, and team members, are also great motivators. There are many role models for me and I learn from the way they approach their work professionally and how they manage their teams without ever shifting from a user-first approach, which also makes me feel like I need to improve myself.
What is the atmosphere like in your team?
All our members have been involved in some form of asset management services in their careers, but their areas of expertise vary from product planning to marketing. Each project is steadily moving forward as everyone takes charge of the ones where they can make the most of their respective experience and proactively work on planning and promoting new services and solving problems. Each person is very active, and I feel that they are very reliable and that we are a good team. Although our work environment is in general fully remote, we think about how we communicate through team Slack channels and meetings, so the atmosphere is very good.
We Want to Lower the Psychological Barriers and Expand the Scope of Asset Building
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
Our biggest goal is to have as many people as possible use PayPay Securities’ services and contribute to their asset building. To this end, we want to lower the hurdles to asset management as much as possible through the launch of NISA and the expansion of our services, so that people think of PayPay Securities when they consider asset management for the first time.
As for me personally, I want to focus on delivering user-first services without delaying the release of projects at hand. By doing so, I hope to contribute to the expansion of PayPay Securities’ business performance and to be able to contribute from a management perspective as well.
What do you value in your work at PayPay?
In terms of PayPay 5 Senses, it is “Believes in our product and team.”
I believe that asset management services can only provide a good experience if there is a product that is easy to understand and reliable, so the most important thing is to provide something that we can offer with confidence from the user’s perspective. For example, in terms of UIUX, since financial products have many things that need explanation, instead of following the traditional presentation style and wording of a brokerage firm, we ask, “Is this easy for the user to understand?” I feel that one of the interesting aspects of working at PayPay is that I can think about these things and change them one by one. I believe that our data-driven culture, such as conducting user surveys and AB testing, has also led to results that are well received by users.
In addition, as the person driving the release and growth of new financial services, I often get help from various areas within the company, so we try to work as one big team. Everyone at PayPay Securities is working with the users in mind, and we want to deliver quickly, so I really appreciate the fact we can work as one, even when we need some internal adjustments.
Finally, any words for job seekers?
Everyone at PayPay Securities, from management to team members, is essentially pursuing an asset management service that users will want to use. We always look ahead, not being bound by precedent, and think daily about how to make it happen. The work environment is also excellent, as we have an infrastructure to efficiently work remotely, as well as experts in the legal, systems development, and marketing teams to support the release and growth of new financial services.
Having said that, the creation of new services does require the patience and energy to solve problems one by one with the cooperation of everyone concerned. We believe that we have an environment in which people who have the sense of ownership to find and solve problems on their own, who can persevere and steadily advance tasks, and who enjoy the process will thrive. If you want to grow and help the business expand toward ambitious goals in a company with great growth potential, you are always welcome.
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*Recruitment status and employee affiliations are correct at the time of the interview.