Mercari Engineering Blog

We're the software engineers behind Mercari. Check out our blog to see the tech that powers our marketplace.

Merpay Bank Service Team and Bold Challenges

This is the 12th post for Mercari Bold Challenge Month.

Hi, I’m Robert, a Backend Engineer working at Merpay on the Bank Service.

@tjun already wrote a bit about Merpay Microservices, but in this article I want to talk about the Bank Service and the people behind it.

The Bank Service is being made by a very diverse group of people coming from all over the world.

While I am from Slovenia, we also have members from Indonesia, Norway, USA, Germany as well as Japan and even other countries.

You would imagine that working on something so linked with a traditional sector as banking requires deep knowledge of Japanese and all banking related regulations, but because everyone at Merpay and Mercari wants to make this a success, we work with everyone together in a All for One and Go Bold way. Well, it helps we have GOT :)

What we do

Our team is responsible for everything related to banks at Merpay.

That means we manage the data of all the different banks and branches in Japan and provide it to other services inside Merpay that might require it.

When I run a simple select count(*) from banks I get back 1276 and while we have our Business Development team working hard on reaching out to all those banks and having them available in Merpay, the reality is that with Merpay being such a young product (we are less than 1 year old), it just takes time to make that happen.

We don't just manage data though, we also make sure you can connect your bank account in a secure way and in the end make transferring money in and out of those bank accounts easy, fast, but ultimately still secure.

As you can use Merpay to buy goods at many merchants throughout Japan, we also work with the merchant team to take care of making sure those merchants get their sales into their bank accounts.

Bold Challenges

To give our users more options, we are always adding new banks to list of available banks.

How do we usually go about that?

First of course we need to reach an agreement with the bank we want to add and that requires a lot of effort on the part of our Business Development team as well as Product Managers.

I mentioned that Merpay takes security very seriously so whenever we integrate with a new bank, we first review the API specifications inside our team as well as consult with the security team for a security review. The security team also comes in at the end where they do another security check of the actual implementation, before we release it to our users.

If we find any security concerns we work with banks on resolving them so we can provide the best and most secure experience to our users.

In the end after all the implementation, security and compliance checks are done we announce it to our users.

It's always nice seeing what our teams work on help improve the banking industry in Japan as well as move Japan one step closer towards a cashless society.

You might think what about this process is a Bold Challenge?

I tried to show it as simple as possible, but to succeed in our mission, which is building trust for a seamless society, you need to consider that Japan is still very much full of cash-only payments so to make cashless possible, you need to Go Bold to make it as easy as possible for our users to put money into Merpay so they can use Merpay when paying anywhere in Japan.

You can read about the vision we presented at the Merpay Conference.

If you want to be part of making the Bank Service even better, join us!