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.