In February this year, a leading bank in South Africa faced what it termed ‘technical issues’. Both mobile and internet banking apps were inaccessible on smartphones and web browsers, and ATM and card transactions were affected as well. A similar issue faced by another European bank in April 2018, saw 1.9 million of its mobile and internet banking customers were locked out of their accounts.

The above examples are just two of the many high-profile IT failures that have been affecting banks and in turn their customers all over the world. In most cases, the so-called technical issues always boil down to the inadequacies in the software testing process. According to the PwC Report ‘An Ounce of Prevention, Why Financial Institutions Need Automated Testing’, 21% of defects are not identified until after the software goes live. This puts the onus on organizations to ensure foolproof software testing. For banks to facilitate smoother functioning of programmed systems and applications, the only way forward is a platform which automates testing of software applications. Here are three reasons as to why automated financial application testing is a vital requirement that cannot be overlooked.

  1. Changing CX trends need test automation
  2. Digital transformation trends such as mobile, social, web and IoT together are determining the customer experience landscape in the current banking and financial services industry. A 2018 study reported that more than half the banks in North America, Europe and Australia have achieved digitization and mobility. With the share of digital interactions reaching a new high, and omni-channel customer interactions becoming the norm banking application testing needs to be accurate and fast. Additionally, regression testing to ensure that new code changes don’t affect existing functionalities will increase—especially considering the complex integration points between customer-facing digital touch-points and legacy back-end applications that exist in most financial institutions. Robotic test automation then becomes the only solution as it facilitates rapid and accurate execution, with the higher degree of consistency that is required.

  3. Robotic test automation reduces risk aversion to post-production defects
  4. The need to update applications with constant patches and improvements has become a mandatory requirement for BFSI. This increases the risk of post-production defects, which can result in loss of reputation, time and costs. However, manual testing which lacks in consistency and speed cannot provide the comprehensive financial application testing needed to mitigate the inherent risk. To provide quicker deployment into live systems, banks and financial institutions need to seek a platform, which can identify errors earlier in the development cycle. A plug-and-play intelligent test automation framework for banks significantly reduces regression and integration testing times enabling organizations to gain the agility they require.

  5. Evolving regulatory requirements call for automated testing
  6. The Banking and Financial Services industry in particular is subject to rapid and complex regulatory changes. Take for instance, the recent Reserve Bank of India’s orders to upgrade ATMs running on Windows XP and/or other unsupported operating systems, or the European Union’s directive asking banks to create a dedicated interface to let third parties access accounts on behalf of clients. Faced with such changes that mostly have to be completed within a stipulated time, banks and financial institutions are seeking rapid test solutions that aid the iterative nature of agile application development. Test automation works in sync with the agile process by quickly and consistently confirming if applications are still working as the code is being produced.

Automation testing for banks is rapidly becoming the industry standard as it ensures overall application quality and efficiency—a key driver for the highly competitive and fast-paced environment of banking. Banks implementing financial application testing can not only avoid headline-making errors but gain added opportunities to increase revenue and improve customer experience.