Digitization has changed the banking technology landscape and has created a unique set of challenges. There has been a huge increase in the number of customer facing apps and services through digital channels. These digital technologies have been built on top of the legacy systems which is the core of each bank. Due to the inroads of the new digital technologies, integration points have become complex with the legacy back-end applications. Any banking transaction goes through myriad of software applications and platforms, so it is very critical banks look at test automaton initiatives as a key part of their digitization strategy.

According to a PWC report, banking industry should be targeting to automate at least 70% of their applications as there are clear hazards when manual testing has a dominant position. Banking technology landscape is going to be more digital with the adoption technologies like blockchain, AI, ML, Chatbots & more. These initiatives touch every aspect of banking products like loans, credit, retail lending, mortgage & more. Some of these transactions span multiple days &months and involve complex financial models and regulatory compliance. These span multiple platforms and other huge dependences which make the case for automated testing.

The uniqueness of the banking technology landscape and complex processes involving long cycles spanning days makes it difficult for manual testing. It is not only time consuming but also very ineffective. Manual testing is probably the worst thing a bank can do when it comes to End-to-End testing. Manual testing is not suited for complex transactions and calculation and it becomes cumbersome. So, it was not a surprise with the growing initiatives on digital transformation and the disadvantages of manual testing, banks had to move towards automated testing. But then the challenge is how does one go about creating or adopting a test automation framework for banks. The automation strategy should be able to take care of all digital platforms and applications. It needs to consider all integration touch points given the regulatory changes that keep happening all the time.Breaking software features into smaller testable scenarios makes testing easier to execute and understand. Automation also is great strategy for adopting DevOps model, as it assists in writing laborious tests only once and runs automatically with a single push and reduces regression test times to a few hours.

Some of the key points banks needs to consider when going for an automation framework are:

  • Can the framework test across technologies like Web, Desktop, API, REST Soap, Mainframe?
  • Can it manage application changes efficiently when it comes to new releases, regulatory issues and any upgrades?
  • Can it validate Real time and daily Batch processing to complete end to end test issues?
  • Complex financial models and calculations are real pain points for banks. Will the automation framework solve these challenges?
  • The framework should be ready to use and should have pre-configured components of Banking
  • Can it automate 70% of my processes

Apart from UI testing, the framework should be test Back end applications such as batch completion, database interaction, service virtualization and ability to do complex calculations.  The key benefit banks can get from automation would be improved quality of the software and lower costs over a longer period.

The banking industry is in lot of pressure to meet the needs of modern banking industry but the dependence on manual testing for most of the test scenarios, test automation can reduce time to market and improve the quality of application when it goes live.

Raghu Raghavan

Awarded 2017 Most Influential MarTech Leaders, World Marketing Congress. Experienced Team leader with a successful track record in Product-Market fit, Product Marketing, Field Marketing, Digital Marketing, Monetization, Business Strategy, Business Development across Technology industry. Expertise in both Products & Services oriented segments.

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