Discovering Revolut Japan — meet Tomoko and Yuki

People · May 6, 2024Nicolás Vásquez


What makes Revolut so special in Japan? To find out, we're delving into the experiences of 2 Japanese Revoluters: Tomoko Hasegawa, Operations Manager, and Yuki Hamasaki, Head of Legal. Join us to hear their story, and learn about their life at Revolut. Discover how they made the brave choice to completely change their careers and start over at a rapidly growing Fintech startup — all in a country where tradition is the rule.

When Yuki and Tomoko joined, Revolut Japan was just starting out, with a small team and the tough challenge of breaking into a new and different market. Check out how their background in traditional industries like banking and consulting helped them stand out in the Fintech industry.

Tradition vs innovation

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing before joining Revolut?

Tomoko: Before Revolut, I worked in electronic trading at investment banks, first in a technology-based role, then to sales and trading. My technical background made transitioning from trading to retail easier. I joined Revolut in April 2022 as an Operations Manager.

Yuki: I started my career at a major auditing firm. Immediately before ‌joining Revolut, I was a partner in a mid-sized law firm, providing services mainly in the areas of regulation, finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and tax.

Why did you decide to make the switch from a more traditional company to a newer and more innovative one in the fintech sector?

Tomoko: 2 main reasons:

  1. I'm a working mother who wanted more flexibility. Trading requires availability during market hours. My previous job required daily office presence, which was challenging with a young child.
  2. I saw potential in Revolut. I witnessed how trading had moved to electronic and expected the same would happen for payments. I was already using cashless payments at that time, so I was excited about joining Revolut and being part of the team building Revolut's trading platform. 

Yuki: Despite my experience in traditional banking and financial consulting, I wanted a career change that would offer growth and new challenges. Being a Fintech, Revolut seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to showcase my skills and knowledge. Working for an international company is a challenge I'm eager to embrace, as I'm drawn to innovative and ambitious projects.

What motivated you to work at Revolut?

Tomoko: My motivation is to work closely with the management team and see that the work I do directly leads to results. As Revolut Technologies Japan (RTJ) is still new in the market, there are many things to do, improve, and implement to grow. Knowing that I can be part of this growth and continue building a great project like Revolut, while also progressing professionally, is a great motivation.

Yuki: Contributing to the growth of Revolut Japan, and growing myself. I want to learn about the different values of the multinational team members and improve my competence and knowledge of new law areas. I'm also interested in improving my problem-finding and problem-solving skills, as well as my English.

Working at Revolut Japan

What challenges have you faced when working for a foreign company in Japan?

Tomoko: During my career, I've worked for multiple foreign companies. One of the biggest challenges is helping global teams understand local requirements. For example, in Japan, credit cards and prepaid card top-ups can't be used for transfers. So, we need to make sure global teams understand what the financial context in Japan is, and how we can adapt our products to a more local context.

Yuki: Being part of a fast-paced company like Revolut, with its diverse and multicultural environment, provides an excellent opportunity for personal and professional growth. It allows me to continuously learn and acquire new skills. While cultural and language barriers may occasionally pose challenges, they also present the perfect opportunity to foster a sense of community and establish boundaries that contribute to the ongoing success of Revolut.

How does Revolut support its employees in Japan in terms of professional development and career growth?

Tomoko: Revolut offers training in project management, programming, and other skills needed for your role. As a startup, you might be assigned to important projects soon after joining. This hands-on experience can help you develop skills like data analysis, presentation, and project management. You'll also interact with various stakeholders, building working relationships and effective communication. This experience can greatly benefit your career development.

Yuki: The workplace is remote-friendly, so you can work from different locations. You can even work from abroad for ‌up to 120 days a year. Leave is easy to take and the work-life balance is great. This makes the office environment appealing, especially for people who come from demanding professional firms.

Can you share any interesting projects or initiatives you've been involved in that highlight the growth of Revolut in Japan?

Tomoko: One of the projects I had the opportunity to work on was the integration of the new solution for faster top-up, available 24/7. At the same time, we launched a campaign with Minna Bank, to promote the partnership as well as this new top-up experience. Despite a tight deadline, we successfully coordinated with Minna Bank, managed the project, and integrated the new solution. Customers loved the faster top-ups and that's the feedback we love to hear.

Yuki: When launching a new service or feature, the legal department attends global project meetings, researches regulations, and prepares or reviews documentation. The speed at which new services and products are launched always amazes me.

What do you want to achieve at Revolut Japan?

Tomoko: Japan is a pioneering country in many areas, such as mobile payments. So, working on unique products that have a strong presence in this country is something I want to focus on. Although the payments sector is still new to me, I want to keep gaining experience. The Operations team covers all aspects of the business and requires a broad knowledge, which makes it a perfect fit for me. 

Yuki: I still want to work hard to contribute to the growth of Revolut Japan, and grow in all the professional aspects.

Since we launched in Japan almost 4 years ago, we've gained a significant number of customers throughout the country. Our goal is to keep growing and reach the milestone of 1 million customers within the next 2 years. We know that none of our achievements and future endeavours would be possible without the exceptional team of Revoluters who consistently take ownership, think critically, and execute tasks effectively.

If you want to develop your career at an unconventional company in a powerful industry, join our team of Revoluters and help transform the financial landscape in Japan.

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