Maps and local store information are one of the key ways that we get information to you so that you can make better shopping decisions. However, as more and more stores start supporting PayPay, we found that our maps were becoming cluttered and difficult to use.

In addition to the larger number of stores that we have to present, the geography of Japan also poses some unique challenges when it comes to digital mapping. Finding a store in a small town in Niigata for example, is a very different experience from doing the same in Shibuya station. In cities, shops are often located on top of each other, or right beside other businesses, there are numerous landmarks and topography elements such as train lines or roads can pass over, under or through them.

With that in mind, we took the decision to began working with Mapbox in order to create a whole new location experience – one that makes it much easier to navigate your shopping from inside of PayPay.

The move to Mapbox allows us to have much more flexibility in choosing what information to show, when and how. This is most obvious in the enhanced visuals of the PayPay map. Here we have reduced the color palette, using a more limited set of colors but with higher contrast. Shops, and the roads that they are located on, as well as other key landmarks are now much easier to understand at a glance.

A cleaner look also helps us in optimizing performance so that it becomes much easier for you to scroll the local area, zoom, or quickly jump to another area entirely. We have retained the same easy-to-use category filter however, so that if you’re looking for a hotel in a business center or a ramen shop close to home, you can quickly filter out irrelevant stores and quickly find what you’re looking for with just a couple of taps.

The campaign filter is also retained, so that with a quick flick you can also narrow down to stores that are currently part of a special offer or cashback campaign. This is in addition to the business information, ratings and reviews of the more than 2.5m stores that currently support PayPay.

This is only the start of an ambitious roadmap we have to transform the location experience on PayPay, as we continue to make it even easier for you to find great local businesses, take advantage of fantastic offers, and empower the decisions that you make when it comes to where to eat, where to shop and where to go. Stay tuned for more.