Agile software testing in banking: collaboration is trendy!  

To effectively test banking solutions, you need more than the right people and tools. Sometimes the success of the process depends on the adopted methodology. Involving testers at every stage can speed up the work and improve the end result. 

This article discusses:  

  • what approach do banking application tests require 
  • what are the consequences of poor banking application testing 
  • what solutions are used to improve the work of testers 
  • whether Agile methodology can be applied in banking software development cycle 
  • how domain knowledge helps in testing banking applications 

A core banking application is a very complex IT product. At the same time, they are expected to be extremely reliable. They not only are the gatekeepers to customers’ money but also process extremely sensitive data – financial and personal. 

A well-designed domain application must therefore be secure and efficient. And if it is a web application that supports employees of financial institutions in their daily work, it must also be user-friendly. Therefore, testers, who go through all functionalities of, bear a lot of responsibility. 

One of the key areas of banking application testing is to identify security loopholes. According to the 2022 Contrast Security report, as many as 60% of banking industry players worldwide have fallen prey to cyberattacks. The consequences of hacker attacks are a threat to customers, but also a serious danger for the reputation of financial companies themselves, especially due to personal data leaks (including credit card data). Not to mention that any disruptions in access to money can affect thousands of clients, who will then be more inclined to transfer to other banks. 

Identifying potential errors is also crucial for user experience. Agile practices can speed up the work and improve the end result by promoting iterative and collaborative approaches. Agile testing, which integrates with CI/CD processes, provides automated testing, ensures security compliance, and enables teams to deliver best-in-class customer experiences. One example is Citibank, which suffered millions of dollars worth of losses as a result of the faulty design of a back-office application. Three bank employees approved a high-value transaction and none of them detected a costly error. How is this possible? The outdated, hard-to-navigate application interface, full of confusing messages, was to blame. It not only failed to support them in doing their job but also did not prevent serious financial damage. 

The example of Citibank only confirms what testers working for banking have known for years – the essence of testing in the banking and finance industry is to ensure the correct operation of the entire process. To help themselves, producers of solutions for banking try different ideas – from test automation to the integration of effective testing tools. The waterfall approach has dominated this field for years. However, Agile methodology may prove to be a success. Can it be applied and how can it be done?  

Agile methodology in testing: when “three musketeers” join hands  

One of the principles of Agile methodology is the shared responsibility of all team members for the future product. However, the most common practice in the software development process is to involve the tester only in the final phase. They are made responsible for a specific development stage, and they take up their tasks once the basic decisions regarding the adopted solutions have already been made. They works on a solution created without their participation, which is de facto a certain kind of waste of the team’s potential. 

This can be avoided when “three musketeers”, i.e., an analyst, a developer, and a tester, work together throughout the entire development process. A tester involved in the process of designing a solution, especially in the analytical phase, can immediately verify emerging ideas. Looking at the emerging solution from the perspective of functional testing practice, the “third musketeer” often brings a dose of healthy skepticism. Based on their experience, they determine which solutions can actually work, and which are applicable just in theory. 

In the banking industry, adopting Agile testing practices faces challenges such as lack of vision, coordination difficulties among teams, reluctance due to high stakes, and the need to comply with strict regulations. However, Agile testing is necessary for enhancing customer experience, improving operational efficiency, and digitizing banking processes. 

The Agile approach to the testing phase also includes conducting tests throughout the development period, as often as possible (usually after each iteration). This is especially important in the production of software for banking, as it allows to make sure that the solution meets the high requirements – and to this it gets to implementation faster and starts to bring measurable benefits to the entire organization. 

Domain knowledge is key to testing any banking application

To deliver secure software for banking, new functional testing methods are not enough. Appropriate qualifications of testers are also necessary. The basis here is domain knowledge about the particular processes that take place in the IT ecosystem for banking. 

Testers must know banking processes perfectly, with their course and mutual dependencies between respective banking applications. This will allow them to conduct manual tests and create scenarios for automatic tests. Knowledge of the expectations of the end user, i.e., the bank’s client, is also crucial. 

At CCA, we can boast many years of experience in banking application testing. We are specialists in both automatic tests and functional tests. We know the specifics of banking IT systems and the processes that take place in the banking sector. We have proven many times that we understand the needs of our clients, who are global banks. For details around the world. 

We use our proprietary PATT tool for our tests, the only existing application that allows for automatic testing of FIS Profile. It allows to combine the advantages of manual and mass usability testing. We also carried out its integration with Selenium, the most popular tool for testing web applications. 

At CCA, we understand the complexities of banking applications and the importance of thorough, effective testing. We are committed to delivering top-tier testing services that meet these demands. Our seasoned experts, innovative testing tools, and deep understanding of banking industry and processes make us the ideal partner for your project. We are ready to help you ensure your banking application meets the highest standards of security and efficiency. Get in touch with us today and let’s start a conversation about your software development needs.