Financial Payment Systems: Quality assurance and testing

Payments is considered the heartbeat of banking and is an area that is witnessing significant disruption. Transactions today occur not just through debit/credit cards but also wallets and other micropayment systems – not to mention the surge of cryptocurrency. In addition, regulators globally are encouraging competition and innovation by granting licenses to pure-play payment providers. Payment platforms handle a large volume of transactions and the need for better/faster/ more accurate reconciliation is also therefore growing. Ensuring faultless systems with fast processing times and robust security are the need of the hour. 

Increasing the diversity and speed of testing how payment messages are generated, processed and reconciled would help reduce mis-steps and need for manual reconciliation. While there have been significant attempts to automate testing of Transaction Entry, testing of the entire payment lifecycle remains largely manual. 

Till recently, financial institutions have generally relied on manual testing methods for quality assurance of payment systems, compliance, and security. However, digital transactions have grown a whopping 338% in just one year. This has been brought about by innovation and advent of new players. Banks, who provide the backbone for all payment transactions are finding that the rate-of-change is extremely high requiring significant improvement in exception handling. Testing / QA of these platforms is gaining a higher focus due to the volumes and values involved. 

In this article, we take a closer understanding of the landscape of automation testing and quality assurance for financial payment systems and discuss the path forward to iron the kinks.

Manual vs. automated testing for electronic financial payment systems

1. Capital and resources

Manual testing heavily relies on human experience and expertise for execution. In this case, building a reliable hub of QA engineers and state-of-the-art testing tools is of paramount importance. This is not as capital intensive when instances are low. However, as real-time payments become more popular, it becomes imperative for engineers to adapt, or you may face a higher risk of manual errors and leave significant loopholes in security.

On the other hand, automation testing is quite capital intensive, but the ROI becomes significant when much of the recurring tasks are completed at record speeds without human intervention. Note that the upcoming generations prefer the convenience of digital services over the user experience of traditional brick & mortar branches.

2. Flexibility vs. replicability

Manual testing systems are inherently advantageous for catching one-off ambiguous errors. A manual testing system that is equipped with the latest tools and techniques can accommodate for versatility and be highly responsive.

On the other hand, where the manual system may fail, the automated testing system shines – replicability. Recurring errors for which there is a temporary solution at hand can be automated, while the resources to dig deeper can be handed over to the top QEs. If not, resource management becomes an intensive process where specialists are forced to work on repetitive tasks instead of actually fixing the problem from the root. This may be the very reason for frequent headlines that begin with “IT meltdowns.”

3. Time to deploy

Bringing in new technology to the QA system used to be a cumbersome task. Agile methodologies and the Continuous Delivery framework have vastly helped improve the time to deploy QA systems.

As market forces are dictating the deployment of creative apps, faster product development cycles have become imperative. If containerization and microservices are leveraged well, automated systems can be a crucial asset in deploying new apps as well as new versions at a faster pace to keep abreast with the competition. It’s also much easier to recall the apps to older versions in case of technical glitches if the code is automated.

With automation, coders can focus on validating scripts rather than writing scripts which is much more time-consuming.

4. Scalability

In a world where change is constant, and new regulations are brought in with little time to restructure existing infrastructure, the question of scalability remains a looming point. Quality Assurance Payment Systems should not only be able to scale for volume but also accommodate for framework changes on the fly. In this case, generic software solutions are currently struggling to cater to the ever-increasing demand. However, smarter solutions such as no-code testing can be the key to adapting to the market’s ever-changing demands.

5. Data creation and virtualization

The most important factor in testing the robustness of generic tools is how well they are able to simulate real-time transactions. While older systems are able to accommodate for task-based testing, there is little evidence that they work well for behavioral testing. This kind of deeper analysis is what should drive the continuous improvement cycles on agile systems. No doubt, some of it can be analyzed manually but is that enough? Data-backed decisions provide the best analysis of the impact of concurrent external events.

Making the best of both worlds

As we’ve seen above, there is a necessity for both manual testing and automation testing to coexist.

Most software suites today are driven towards making the life of coders easier. However, it’s not the coder who forms the bridge between the bank and consumer, but the business analyst. Codeless Payment System Automation Testing is a pragmatic solution that is geared towards enhancing the product life cycle.

With codeless automation, you have little to worry about hiring or outsourcing a large team for android, iOS, website, and desktop application testing – all recurring tasks are taken care of in-house. All you need is a well-qualified and experienced team of analysts who have the know-how of coding and a team of specialists who can tweak the code on the fly.

To take care of recurring tasks, robotic automation testing software that “learn” on the job are the key. An RTA tool must be able to integrate easily with a device farm and quickly carry out tests across form factors. RTA tools also pose an advantage in that they are DevOps ready – meaning they can easily mesh with existing DevOps tools. This further improves the efficiency of the CI/CD pipeline.

Yethi’s QA services for financial applications

As the weaknesses of manual testing become more palpable, investing in a trusted automation testing and quality assurance partner is an inevitable reality. In this phase, banks and other financial companies are creating and updating their payment software to online, mobile, and other digital platforms. This increasing number of online users has created a need for an immensely effective software testing solution that will leave no scope for compromise in any aspects of functional usage, performance, or security.

At Yethi, we have introduced an efficient software platform for payment software to work at their best while offering complete peace of mind to the entire client base. Tenjin, Yethi’s codeless automation tool, has revolutionized test automation in the banking and financial sectors, offering an impeccable system that offers no scope for errors. Yethi has established itself as a market leader in QA services to the BFSI industry by offering testing solution to popular banking software including Oracle Flexcube, Infosys Finacle, and TCS BaNCS. Tenjin has created a deep impression in the market for its quick deployment test automation solution that conducts the testing without the need for scripts or codes while offering nearly 100% accuracy.