As the banking world shifts towards more remote and less physical, cloud infrastructure, cyber-security, and user experience reach new levels of significance.
Banking apps are now representatives of the banks themselves, and the success of QA in all of these areas and many more will determine how well they compete in the market just as much as interest rates and cheap loans.
But what are the implementations of QA as it relates to financial institutions? And what are some of the key factors to pay attention to when testing? Keep reading to find out!
What is Quality Assurance for Banking?
With the steady rise in digitization, customer experience in banking is improving and established; brick-and-mortar banks are facing strong competition from virtual or online banks.
These banks can have lower overheads and often provide customers with good deals and more customer-oriented platforms that look to take over a market that has been neglected, exploited, and even scammed by their high-street name banks.
This competition is leading to banks of all kinds scrambling to develop online platforms that can match consumer demands in terms of efficiency, ease of use, and overall engaging experience. Where many new banks are doing a good job at this, at least so far, some of the more traditional establishments risk falling behind.
While there is no question that the front end is of huge importance to the consumer, what now must be remembered is the significance of quality assurance regarding personal information and financial protections for the users.
So, exactly what is quality assurance in banking? Well, it covers everything from data security to cloud accessibility and third-party integration, and it’s the most critical part of competing in the new world of mobile banking.
With advancing technologies capable of providing users with unmatched experiences across payment gateways, navigation, and data security, it’s up to QA to ensure that banking apps can deliver on their promises.
While brick-and-mortar banks are new to QA testing, some more modern banks, such as ‘neobanks‘ and the online banks previously mentioned, are approaching banking from a development perspective.
The Role of Financial Quality Assurance
Therefore, financial quality assurance is necessary to push the performance and quality of products to higher levels. Customer expectations are forever reaching new heights, and in order to meet them, a well-planned series of QA initiatives need to be implemented.
To be competitive, this implementation requires optimized test management programs to limit, in every possible case, any defects that might arise after production.
The consequences of letting bugs slip through the cracks in banking are potentially some of the most significant and damaging in terms of legality and reputation, not to mention that they can have disastrous effects on customers’ lives. So testing needs to focus not simply on user experience but also heavily on cyber-security.
With these testing tools in place, core systems can be improved and various processes automated to allow testing to be performed at lower costs. However, with applications becoming more complex and inter-connected, this forces testing mythologies to be as diverse as they are comprehensive.
Ultimately, the role of financial quality assurance is to provide a cutting-edge user experience; match expectations in relation to integration, navigation, and responsiveness; and ensure that finances and personal details are securely stored and accessed. The only way to compete with the growing demands of the customer and the rise of a new generation of banks is to succeed in these regards.
And to do that, QA needs to know where to look. Of course, this is easier said than done, but there are some points of focus (among many) worth mentioning.
Points of Focus for QA in Banking
A lot goes into QA for banking; however, some areas might be worth paying particular attention to, and many of these relate to the customer demands mentioned previously. Here are five areas of attention to consider:
- Early Involvement – A tester who isn’t part of the requirements stage and who isn’t in touch with the customer from the start, will be unable to develop adequate requirements.
These requirements and necessities are typically established early on, first on the customer side, then on the vendor’s, and then as an ongoing conversation between the two.
This helps ensure that in reviewing the requirements, stakeholders and dev teams can ensure that none of the workflows are violated, neither current nor upcoming. Subsequently, each scenario can then be implemented in a way that covers all the client’s requirements.
- Third-Party App Integration – There are numerous connections from third-party apps that banking apps need to integrate with. These include gaming payments, eCommerce, retail, etc. Functional testing and integration testing help ensure that these applications work properly with the banking app, which will play a huge role in customer experience.
If funds leave the account, they must be likely to arrive at their destination promptly and without transaction failure errors. These can otherwise lead to money ‘stuck in the system,’ which is one of the worst outcomes for customers since the money is then tied up without any benefit to them.
QA must therefore ensure transactions run smoothly and are easy to initiate and complete.
- Cyber Threats – As mentioned, banker details and account information are the most important elements of QA assurance. As new tech arrives, new techniques to exploit it follow closely behind, making it difficult for banks to keep up with their security. This part of QA is a never-ending arms race, and vulnerability testing is employed to attempt to keep on top of it.
- Cloud Infrastructure – When banks move their infrastructure to the cloud, it’s helpful to use a hybrid system, whereby the most sensitive processes work within their organization’s private cloud, and the rest are on the public cloud.
Cloud app testing is a large part of QA’s job to ensure a smooth transition between these cloud services and data migration is secure.
- Navigation – This might seem like the most obvious one from a customer perspective, but it’s also something that many banks haven’t cracked yet. Online banking apps are commonly clunky and time out at inopportune moments, killing user experience. Apps must allow customers to get to where they want to when they want to, so usability testing is an absolute necessity for QA in banking.
Of course, good QA has plenty more to the testing procedures involved. Still, these are a good starting point to improve outcomes for both the vendor and the customer, and ultimately the key is balancing each against the others on the development side.
Financial quality assurance is not much different from most other QA in development. The major difference is in the severity of the consequences of failure.
Some tips for QA are to show up early, identify requirements, and don’t overlook integration, security, and navigation in the testing protocols. In addition, having a strong focus on cloud infrastructure and data migration is very handy as more companies will require this to function.
Keeping up with customer demands and matching the ingenuity of cyber-attacks are the main key roles of good QA protocols. Without these, there can be no way to compete in the growing industry of online and virtual banking.