Money makes the world go round. And so, it makes sense that financial products are in high demand. For many people, financial apps are the lifeline they rely on to manage their personal wealth or gather insight into their business. Some use them to trade stocks and buy ETFs while sitting poolside or manage their retirement while they’re on a business trip.
A financial application is a type of software that is specifically designed to automate, assist, and store financial information of a personal or business. It handles the storage, analysis, management, and processing of a set of financial transactions, records, and processes.
Testing financial applications are getting complex, as applications are getting further multi-layered due to growing third-party connections. Thus, what is important during testing and quality assurance of financial applications? Let’s find out!
Essential testing techniques for QA and Testing process
The latest technologies and methods like multi-factor authentication and API security make the process of security testing a little bit easier. Multi-factor authentication makes the authentication process more complex, as it replaces the simple username and password login method with fingerprint verification or a confirmation email, call, or text message. This is the best way to ensure that the person attempting to access a given account is who they say they are.
User Acceptance Testing
As the name implies, user acceptance testing (UAT) is generally performed at the last stages of the testing process. In UAT testing, the team should perform scenarios based on potential use cases. A group of stakeholders (or real users) is also usually invited to the development facility to carry out this test to create the nuanced quality of real-life, in-person testing.
For effective testing, a new, dedicated UAT environment is set up, which is a replica of the real system. For real and valid customer data production, a database dump is deployed (which replaces the personal data and details of real users). The product team and real customers perform testing on the UAT environment, and the product team then shares the build health report with key stakeholders.
This testing technique plays a vital role in finance application testing, as any defects encountered here can avert any failures in critical features. Beta testing is also an example of UAT. Some other examples of acceptance testing include:
Alpha & Beta Testing: Alpha testing is done in-house by either a QA team or potential or real customers. Beta testing is performed in a live environment by end-users.
Contract Acceptance Testing: Here the application is tested as per the requirements and conditions, which are predefined and agreed upon in a contract.
Regulation Acceptance Testing: This testing validates that the product meets the required regulations. These compliances can be governmental and legal.
Operational Acceptance Testing (OAT): This testing is done to validate the operational readiness (pre-release) of a product. The OAT environment is also known as the pilot environment. All the components and systems in the live version should be in place in the pilot environment.
Regulatory and Compliance Testing
This is a non-functional testing technique performed to make sure that the developed system meets organizational and civic standards. This type of testing is carried out by compliance experts certified by the respective regulatory body. For this testing, auditors visit the development facility and audit the application according to required industry standards.
If a financial application is used in multiple regions/states/countries, then regulatory and compliance clearance from other local legal authorities may also be required. Regulatory and compliance criteria depend upon the type of finance application and country in which the application is used.
The majority of finance applications have multiple third-party applications integrated. For example, an online loan provider application could use a credit bureau, address verification, loan-processing software, CRM, etc.
Integration testing typically examines the following.
Data synchronization among all the third-party tools: The QA team must ensure that communication between the application and all third-party tools is smooth. Any update in customer data from the application side should also be synchronized with the third-party tool’s database, and similarly, any update done to the customer’s data in the third-party tool should sync with the application’s database. Failure to do so may introduce data discrepancy in two systems, which can produce major data errors.
Error handling in case any third-party application is not available: There is always a chance that a third-party tool could go down. So, while designing test cases, the QA team should also include and test for these scenarios.
Performance of a third-party application: Performance is a very crucial factor for the success of any application. It’s very important that third-party apps should also support good response time under the maximum amount of load. The QA team should validate the performance of third-party applications while doing performance testing of the application.
Data security: Data confidentiality is now vital for every industry. So while sharing data with a third-party application’s QA team, that data should always travel in encrypted form. The Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as Name, Address, SSN, DOB, credit card numbers, etc., should always be encrypted end to end.
Challenges of Testing Financial Applications
Testing finance applications comes with many different types of challenges. The QA team needs to have a mitigation plan in place to help reduce risk. Here are some common challenges that the QA team should prepare – and create mitigation plans – for:
Production Data Challenge. In a finance application, some of the defects are encountered by some specific set of users/data, which cannot be created by the QA team in the test environment.
Mitigation Plan: While designing the testing approach, the QA team should cover the scenarios to test the feature with a user having good data history. The database team can help deploy the production database dump in the QA environment by first masking or replacing all the personal customer details.
System Migration. Due to rapid growth in the IT industry, now new technologies and frameworks are introduced in the market with high frequency. This creates the need to optimize the existing application or create a completely new one. The biggest challenge in finance applications, in this case, is to migrate all the existing data in the new system and get it working smoothly.
Mitigation plan: The QA team must ensure that Data Migration Testing is complete and regression test cases are executed on both old and new systems, and to ensure that the results match.
Lack of finance domain knowledge. While testing finance applications, the QA team can face one of the most common challenges: the team’s lack of familiarity with the financial industry, which may lead to general ignorance of important financial rules, standards, or common issues that a more experienced tester would be aware of.
Mitigation plan: As mentioned above, there is no room for error in financial applications, so it’s very important to train the team on the appropriate financial space before commencing with any development or testing work. This will ensure that all financial requirements are understood and validated by the QA team.
Test processes should be well planned, defined, and documented for a project. To make sure the released applications is safe and functions as expected, learn more at 7 tips to improve software quality through the testing process.
The financial services industry is constantly changing that is the reason most IT companies incorporate complex design while developing financial applications. This is done to ensure that the application is able to perform in a secure manner. Key quality assurance focus points for financial apps are very simple extensive, efficient, and effective quality assurance testing. QA testing must be one of the top priorities for financial application developers in order to assure consumers that their money is safe and secure.
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