The modern regulatory and competitive environment has forced banks and financial institutions to
deploy CRM systems
. CRM systems take over many key initiatives spread across sales, compliance, and
service. Consisting of multiple custom designed workflows, these are data intensive and
time-consuming to build and use.
These systems have to be constantly tweaked to align with the new regulatory requirements and to
improve customer service. Adoption of an automated testing solution becomes all the more necessary
to reduce the risk of any unintended negative impact and to improve turn-around-times.
The Role of a CRM Solution in the BFSI Industry
A CRM solution
in the BFSI sector is typically used for customer onboarding, customer data maintenance
and customer service requests management that provides a 360-degree view about the customer. At its
core, a CRM solution helps banks leverage customer data for marketing and sales activities. Right from
running a campaign and generating leads to assigning and converting leads, a CRM solution can
transform the customer experience.
However, customer onboarding and customer data management can be complicated. Know Your
Customer (KYC) norms involve intricate protocols to be followed and compliance requirements change
frequently. Plus, the challenge of interfacing the CRM system with other systems can be a daunting task.
What the BSFI sector needs to tackle these changes is an efficient and dynamic CRM solution.
Importance of CRM Testing
CRM systems are becoming an integral part of a bank’s processes.
Being interfaced with multiple data
sources, client service solutions and reporting databases, they gather and process large volumes of data.
As modern IT systems are in a constant state of flux, CRM systems often get impacted. As the CRM
systems are being changed and modified often, constant testing of CRM systems becomes imperative.
The CRM testing activity can be done manually or through an automated solution. The challenge is that
when the CRM is upgraded or transitioned from legacy systems, testing the CRM software manually
becomes time-consuming and error-prone. The error rate also multiplies in no time and affects the
various functions of the business. Automating the CRM testing process is the befitting solution.
Benefits of an Automated CRM Testing Solution
With the CRM testing automation
solution, banks can tackle complex banking workflows. They also can:
- Make better use of the large volumes of data
- Ensure an agile process
- Use the solution on multiple interfaces
- Validate larger portions of the customer lifecycle
- Follow a data-driven testing method
What makes banks to adopt an automated CRM testing strategy is the fact that the customer’s demands
and expectations change rapidly. Banks can’t afford any delays and redundancies while working with
their customer relationship lifecycle. The banking sector is beginning to see the advantages of using an
automated solution and is slowly moving in that direction.
The need of the hour is a dynamic automated CRM testing solution, a solution that could be deployed
for multiple processes.
How Banks Can Benefit from an Automated CRM Testing Process?
Of all the advantages that an automated CRM testing process
brings in, the most important one is that it
Let’s look at some more advantages:
- Accurate: Automation brings in accuracy to the testing activity
- Agile: As automation brings in accuracy and makes it error-free, the testing activity becomes
- Reliable: Automated testing is much more reliable than manual testing and brings down the
- Reusable: CRM tests and components can be reused on different versions
- Programmable: Automated CRM tests are programmable for different variables, operators,
- Work 24/7: Unlike manual testing, automated CRM testing can be performed at any time and
for longer spans
- Better ROI: Automated testing has a big initial investment, but produces better ROI than manual
Considering all the advantages that automated CRM testing offers, it makes a strong case for itself in the
banking industry. Banks can not only save money and time by investing in automated CRM testing
, but also ensure better resource utilization.
Lending is increasingly becoming a highly specialized operation with credit appraisal being based on diverse data sources. With the advent of specialized Fintech companies, innovation and speed are becoming an important aspect of the lending process. The phenomenon is not just restricted to consumer loans, but also to corporate lending. A consortium of banks recently provided MSMEs with a ‘59 minute loan approval’ portal in India.
The loan approval process is now governed by digital documents, profiling via multiple data sources and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. The pace and volume of innovation in this critical function, while exciting, also leaves financial institutions open to potential errors and omissions. In order to sustain a high pace of change and innovation, financial institutions have to invest in quality assurance (QA) practices that ensure no adverse impact.
Considering the volume of data and the intricate review and approval processes, using the traditional manual testing method will only slow the process and result in longer time-to-market cycles or inconsistent testing. This demands the use of the automated testing solution for loan origination
system (LOS) which is faster, accurate and efficient.
Automated LOS testing – The need of the hour for banks
● Manage dynamic and complex business workflows
Lending business workflows are complex and differ with each lending or loan product, and customer requirements. Manually testing the product and ensuring its optimal coverage in a short span of time is a tedious process and requires manpower and effort. Automating this process makes testing ever so easy.
● Evaluate complex eligibility and scoring methods
Evaluating customers based on their income and other parameters to calculate their eligibility and score for a loan is complex and requires various datasets. With the help of data-driven automated testing and automated data generation or extraction capabilities, the process can be made easy and faster.
● Large-scale integration and data-driven testing capabilities
Automated testing helps in end-to-end testing of LOS that integrates with multiple systems. Verifying various APIs at an early stage of the project life cycle becomes easier too. It also helps with data-driven testing for individual workflows and rules across multiple data sets.
● Automation allows for agile development and regression testing
Most of the application development today uses agile methodology. Automation allows testing to go in parallel with the development activity, where smaller batches of testing can be performed from test suites for each sprint. This results in faster and qualitative testing. An automation testing framework can eliminate difficulties in performing regression testing of all workflows and rules for multiple data sets.
Automating the testing of LOS will not only result in getting accurate results while testing a large number of transactions, but it also will reduce the testing turnaround time by almost 60 to 70 percent.
Today’s customers demand the best and timely service. Banks cannot afford delays and redundancies in their loan processing systems. To ensure the speedy launch of their LOS products banks must do away with manual testing processes that lead to duplication of data entry and data entry errors that negatively impact the customer experience.
Count on the Tenjin Test Automation Suite. that offers superior business and technical benefits to ensure uninterrupted banking operations and improved business performance—with minimum effort on the
team’s part. Learn more about Tenjin here
Banks and Financial Institutions are increasingly investing in improving the credit origination process, introducing a higher degree of automation and tracking. Test is key to helping these efforts due to various factors. One of the major challenges faced in LOS Testing is the complex operational processes. Here is a checklist that will help banks and financial institutions to do away with implementation woes through better planning.
- Automate early, as you will have to test often – ‘Fail fast, fail early’ is the mantra in testing. By automating early, it is possible to maximize the reuse of tests effectively. This forms the basis for Continuous Integration, prioritization and fixing issues accordingly.
- Planning and estimation – Despite significant advances in development methodology, Workflow systems are significantly more fragile than operational systems. Due to the dynamic nature of workflows, empirically a higher degree of errors and breakdowns have been observed. A proactive approach is necessary for estimating the amount of effort and time necessary for implementation and LOS application testing. This typically includes the establishment of a test bed, generation of test data, and test scripts.
- SME led Test Automation design and execution – The goal of testing is to ensure a high degree of accuracy, and hence it is important that BA/SME get to execute tests without the need for specialist programming skills or technical assistance. This will make it easier for Functional Testing, Integrity Testing, Usability Testing, and User Acceptance Testing. SME’s should be a mix of
- Internal operations personnel who can anticipate unique business scenarios that were discussed but remain undocumented and
- Specialist testers who will bring a standard methodology and ensure systematic and comprehensive coverage.
While application knowledge is desirable, considering that institutions significantly tailor the workflow to their unique process, this might not provide a significant advantage.
- Preparation of quality test-data to provide maximum coverage – To ensure comprehensive coverage of all scenarios and different types of tests, data requirements have to be planned well in advance to cover all conceivable scenarios. This needs to include existing, expected and “expected unexpected” conditions of tests for achieving maximum coverage. Significant planning for upstream data is required to ensure that downstream conditions can be validated.
- Transparent defect management – Fixing issues needs to be transparent and in a manner that has all parties on the same page. The nature of LOS makes it multi-tiered and interlinked to various departments and processes. One of the primary functions of Testing is to keep the mainline code working always, and this needs to be achieved by involving/updating all concerned departments/stakeholders.
- Frequent Regression – Regression tests need to be conducted frequently. Financial institutions introduce new products, and releases, consequently, there is a need to conduct regression testing often to ensure that modifications do not impact other operational areas. Test cases need to be segregated and an automated regression testing approach (Risk Based Testing) needs to be put in place.
- Mix mode testing – The goal of reducing testing efforts can be met by intelligently mixing manual testing and automation testing. Each form of testing is best suited for certain test cases, and the ideal implementation of LOS Software needs to include a mix of both automation and manual testing.
As banks and financial institutions battle a variety of external and internal changes, including the pressing need for digitization and the rapidly evolving regulatory changes, software test automation becomes the only way to provide the speed, agility and consistency that continuous testing requires. The World Quality Report 2016-2017, complied by capturing the responses of 1,660 executives from 32 countries points to organizations recognizing the increasing importance of testing. The proportion of IT budgets allocated to testing is expected to rise to 32% by 2020.
However, banks and financial institutions leveraging financial application testing often face several challenges and limitations. Banks using generic tools or those without a well-defined test automation vision are left to improvise and adopt solutions leading to the lack of proper test validations, greater maintenance effort, and low ROI. Robotic test automation for banking needs an end-to-end, highly advanced and seamless solution that can navigate the rapid changes that BFSI needs.
The checklist below serves as a guide to the right way to deploy automated testing for banks.
Choose the right test cases to automate
There are several criteria that can help choose the right test cases to automate. The need to run repetitive tests for multiple builds, tests which are prone to cause human error, and tests that require running on different configurations all provide better results with test automation. Since banking applications require functionality in high-risk conditions and need the speed and consistency to meet regulatory requirements, it is vital to choose the right test cases for robotic test automation for banking.
Choose to create automated tests resistant to UI changes
The costs, effort and time required for re-scripting and maintaining your test automation artefacts is probably the biggest reason for abandonment of test automation initiatives. The seamless deployment of automated testing for banks depends on automated tests being resistant to user interface change between builds. Banks constantly deal with periodic updates of applications, leading to a high possibility of UI changes. In order for automation to be effective, it should eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of effort required to continue in light of such application changes. This will ensure that financial application testing is resistant to evolving UI changes enabling robotic test automation for banking to be seamlessly deployed.
Choose to test early and often
Since confidential financial data is integral to banking applications, it is vital that applications for banking are tested early and often. This will ensure that bugs are detected early in the testing cycle. The advantage of progressive software test automation tools are that they can be implemented on day one and built gradually. The repetitive tests conducted ensure that all changes are progressively, automatically and intelligently incorporated in different test scenarios by using the same module as a basis for improvisation. Testing thus proceeds at higher speeds and with greater coverage.
Choose to create good quality test data
A common challenge for banks and financial institutions with automated testing is gaining access to production data and replicating it as test data. Test data has to meet two separate objectives—one, it has to represent the test cases in an exhaustive manner without duplication and two, it must be easy to maintain and re-set in case of repetitive rounds of testing. To illustrate further, it would require the skills of an Excel Master to be married to a banker with intimate knowledge of the business data.
Choose to test interfaces
Banking applications are no longer the monoliths they were a decade ago. Today, banking landscapes are a network of varied specialized applications inter-connected via sophisticated interfaces. In such scenarios, the robustness and accuracy of the interfaces across builds needs to be validated. In solutions where the APIs and UI are independently developed, usually at different points of time, the UI and the APIs might offer the same business operations but enforce a different set of checks and controls. Such applications make it imperative to ensure consistency across both these channels.
With banking application being one of the most complex applications in the software and testing industry, the seamless deployment of automated banking application testing becomes a vital need. The right deployment strategy will ensure both seamless and successful testing for maximized ROI.