Testing the apps of the financial sector!
Different types of software require different types of design, standards, and architectures and it is no different when it comes to testing them. In this post, we’ll look at some of the things to keep in mind while defining application testing strategies in financial domain.
Apps developed for use in the banking and financial domain generally need to meet very strict and well-defined requirements.
It arises from the need to deal with legal factors under which financial institutions must operate. As the money of the customers are under their control.
When testing banking software, it is important to consider all these standards, along with the basic functional requirements of banking software.
Application testing strategies in financial domain
What are the main points of attention when it comes to application testing strategies?
Financial applications and systems that store financial data are among the main targets of the most sophisticated cybercriminal operations.
If criminals gain undue access to customer’s netbanking, bank account or applications that control the flow of money, they can fraudulently withdraw or embezzle funds.
They can also create fake money laundering accounts, or change records to hide transaction details. All this could be done with perfect anonymity and virtually no physical risk by ensuring utmost security.
Financial applications must process and store transaction data reliably and accurately, they must also have a very high level of availability and transparency.
Although many of the elements that contribute to this type of basic reliability are relatively easy to program and test. Nature high-risk banking software requires that they are taken for granted.
3. Regulatory compliance
As mentioned in the beginning, virtually all banking software must meet the requirements of one or more regulatory agencies.
An application must follow the standards of various regulators that operate under the authority of different regional or national governments or several international bodies.
Compliance is extremely important.
Failure to comply can, in some cases, result in civil, financial, or even criminal penalties for organizations or individuals held responsible.
4. High volume of Performance
Financial applications generally handle a very high volume of transactions and need to process them very quickly. This is true for customer-oriented software in areas such as consumer banking, digital wallets, online loan processing, and point-of-sale transactions.
Also for many non-consumer applications, such as those dealing with commercial stocks, commodities or derivatives.
Automated transactions in these areas can occur at a very high volume, so they require speed and accuracy.
The workflows involved in financial and online banking software can be extremely complex and individual applications can be closely integrated with a large number of other programs. All of which may be dealing with a huge number of transactions.
When you combine this general complexity with the need for validation, reporting, and auditing, along with the real-time nature of many interactions, the complexity increases.
But anyway, what are the best testing strategies for Banking software?
Ensure you have the basics right
As always, your test should cover basic functionality and performance. This includes the very obvious functional problems like user interface, input, output, and storage and features like computational accuracy.
You cannot assume that simply because you are testing an existing banking application, there isn’t a need to check the math.
A change in the code in one part of the program can have unforeseen effects on something very unrelated like arithmetic calculations in another program.
In case of financial software, the cost of a bug can be extremely high.
Attention to business requirements
You must create a set of acceptance criteria next to your test cases, based on the requirements of the application.
In case of banking software, it is important to work closely with product, business, and client-side professionals. In order to ensure that these scenarios accurately address how the software is used.
Use cases in banking software
Use cases for banking software are those that reflects:
- The most common types of transactions.
- Scenarios that emphasize application more.
- Time-sensitive transactions.
- Transactions that involve the greatest risk or potential damage.
- In addition to functional testing, banking applications must be tested for operation under heavy loads and conditions, that would place a high degree of stress on the software and its infrastructure.
Note that the load and stress tests are not the same.
The load test looks at how the application handles a very large volume of transactions and associated operations such as database reads and writes.
Stress test, on the other hand, focus more on how the application handles a high volume of transactions over an extended period. It can detect problems, such as memory creep, that may not be apparent in a simple load test.
Testing security loops
Needless to say, testing security issues are crucial. You must assume that the application you are testing will be under constant attack by professional criminals, who will try to exploit any vulnerability found, at an extremely high cost for users of the application. Even more so in the current “era of benefits”.
You cannot assume that adequate security is already built into the software. But it is better to assume that the software contains undetected vulnerabilities and that it is your job to find them.
Given the number of high-profile data breaches reported in the news, it is clear that proper security testing and programming is not always the norm.
The security tests you perform can be crucial to the privacy, financial security, and retention of your business customers.
Think out a software testing strategy!
As always, the breadth, depth, and scope of the tests are crucial. Automated parallel tests generally offer the best and widest detailed coverage, mainly for load, stress, and safety tests.
Financial software testing requires a well thought out strategy. With the right testing tools and infrastructure, it can be a lifesaver for us and our customers.