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Banking Application Testing: Benefits & Use Cases

Sep 4, 2019
9 min read

As a rule, software testing has a unified set of principles and standards that stay true for all industries. However, there are a few areas that require extra dedication and commitment as well as attention to security issues. In the banking domain it is especially necessary.

When it comes to financial application testing, developers have to ensure an app runs smoothly on all browsers and devices, is protected from the newest cyber-threats, and doesn’t get in the way of achieving peak business performance.

If you don’t know how to approach banking application testing, this post is a checklist of the best practices and strategies. Business managers can use this guide when looking for QA specialists or strategizing.

What is Banking Application Testing? 

A banking application usually has a complex structure — the development team has to manage a wide range of features and ensure security for its users all while offering an enjoyable and smooth experience. 

Releasing a product full of code errors and performance issues will likely tank the company’s reputation. 

That’s why monitoring, assessing, and optimizing the performance of the tool based on real-world scenarios is crucial.

There are several aspects QA specialists prioritize when testing banking applications:

  • Functionality
    Making sure modules work as expected (both separately and as a joint system);
  • UX and usability
    Banking specialists are not always proficient PC users. When it comes to branch clients, not everyone has a good command of the web either. That’s why application developers have to build clean, user-friendly interfaces. Testers need to ensure that the use of graphic attributes of the product doesn’t require much time and all the main services are a few clicks away from the home page.
  • Performance
    Slow page loading and low responsivity on mobile devices are severe issues that can influence user retention rates in a negative way. A tester needs to make sure the product is fast and works consistently on various operating systems and browsers.
  • Security
    Most developed countries are tightening the grip on web security. And that’s why companies risk for ignoring basic protection principles. By not being compliant with security directives, a company owner puts themselves at risk of penalties or criminal prosecution. The objective of security testing is to ensure the application meets standard security guidelines and has additional protection means to be in the clear in the event of hacker attacks.

These are the main directions a banking application tester works in. Once all the banking web application testing stages are carried out successfully, the product goes live. Having tested the app, a banking company manager will be more confident about its performance in the real-world context. 

Why You Need Mobile Banking Application Testing

Banking applications deal with sensitive assets — that’s why they are more vulnerable than any other projects. Financial software is a common target for hackers, so a company that works in the banking domain has to be on the constant lookout for security threats. 

Mobile banking app testing is a way for a development team to predict and proactively manage protection and performance issues. There are other benefits it brings to the table as well, such as:

  • Improving the support of complex integrated systems
    Banking software is often complex, both in terms of technology and design. Instead of releasing a faulty tool and having to fix bugs chaotically, a continuous testing strategy allows the development team to prepare the product for release as it’s being created.
  • Ensuring the system complies with frequently changing regulations
    A banking manager needs to remember that product testing is a continuous effort. For one, when new features are added, tech debt usually piles up. This results in a tool’s unstable performance. More importantly, as new security laws and regulations are enforced, developers have to find new ways to protect user data. By testing and reiterating, you ensure the application is legally compliant and inspection-ready anytime.
  • Improving user experience and customer retention
    People generally have a low tolerance for defective apps — it’s even more the case for products in the banking domain. Having to deal with bugs and performance issues compromises the quality of your client’s work and financial management. Thoroughly testing the product before release allows you to gain customer trust and build a stronger bond with a customer. In return, companies can expect the increase of daily active user numbers and retention rates, and reduce marketing campaign costs.
  • Ensuring sensitive data is protected properly
    Defective software performance can lead to data leaks or disappearance. For most industries, a data leak is unfortunate, yet not fatal. When it comes to banking, there’s no margin for error. By neglecting user data protection, you’ll be putting your clients’ financial assets in jeopardy. The price you pay for carelessness is high and can include fines, court cases, or criminal prosecution.
  • Checking the performance of the app in all likely scenarios
    An internet banking application testing gives developer a hint on how the application will be displayed for users with varying Internet speeds or on different web browser clients and operating systems (iOS/Android). You will also find out how much traffic the product can handle without slowing down or displaying performance errors. This way, a business manager can predict traffic spikes and put in additional effort as the surge of users is nearing.

This is not a definite list of QA banking application testing benefits. These are simply the most crucial ones that explain the difference in performance and user acceptance between a well-tested and a not tested app. 

How to Test Banking App?

To ensure a testing strategy can be expanded for all the projects that a quality assurance manager handles at a time, a strategy is crucial. 

Without an outlined framework, it’ll be much harder to estimate the overall budget, draw up timelines with precision, or allocate responsibilities between team members.

That’s why knowing your bank application testing process step-by-step is not optional. Depending on business objectives, the scale of the product, and its range of features, additional steps might be added or removed from the framework. Having said that, as a rule, the banking app testing process looks the following way. 

  • Data gathering
    The first stage of banking app testing consists of research. A QA specialist needs to get domain knowledge (familiarize with industry-specific terms) and get a better understanding of the industry standards.
  • Identifying test requirements
    Based on all collected data, the testing team identifies the requirements a testing session will assess. The list of objectives has to include both business and functional goals.
  • Collecting banking app test cases
    A QA specialist creates an online banking application test suite where cases are separated by functionality modules. At the end of the day, it has to cover all aspects of the application — functionality, performance, user experience, and security.
  • Functional testing
    The team runs tests to make sure all functions a development team chose to implement work as expected.
  • Database testing
    A QA manager needs to ensure the data is stored in a structured, easy-to-manage way. Also, the database needs to have a mechanism for data restoration or migration.
  • Banking application security testing
    At this stage, testers assess the way user data is protected by the application. This includes assessing data encryption efficiency and user authentication. A tester also needs to ensure potential data breaches or leaks are automatically reported. For a banking app, measures for handling unauthorized access are necessary — such as an automatic system shutdown.
  • Usability testing
    Here, a QA manager thinks of a way to help all of its user categories navigate the app. Testers need to ensure that people with sight problems or other illnesses will feel no limitations when it comes to using the tool. The application also has to be fully adapted to meeting the needs of the elderly.
  • Performance testing
    This stage includes checking page loading speeds, testing the app’s performance as the traffic load increases, assessing the product’s responsivity for different browsers.
  • User acceptance testing
    At this stage, a limited number of users (a focus group or beta-testers) gets to try the app for the first time. The development team records and monitors journeys and experiences, ensures they are bug-free, and gets feedback from user acceptance testing participants.

This, in a nutshell, is a brief rundown of the banking app testing process. Depending on the complexity of the product and the extent of its user base, the amount of time needed to complete the stages may vary. 

Use Cases and Challenges in Financial Application Testing

To understand the nature of financial application testing to the fullest extent, let’s look at generic cases QA specialists usually include in a mobile banking application test suite: 

  • Check if a user can log in with valid login credentials
    In case users fail to enter the data for one or both required fields, the application needs to offer a restoration mechanism.
  • Ensure a user can perform basic transactions
    A banking app has to support transactions between user’s own credit cards as well as between the user and a different account. To improve the convenience of a transaction, the program needs to give a mechanism for creating regular payments.
  • A user can change a password
    A tester needs to ensure app users can modify login credentials in a secure way. The development team needs to implement a safe way to edit any personal data so that the records in the database are as up-to-date as possible.
  • A user can send transactions to multiple users
    They should only be able to do so if they have sufficient funds in their account balance.
  • The account is blocked after multiple login attempts
    This is a secure way of brute force attack protection. Other than that, a developer has to account for a mechanism to restore a blocked account in a fast yet non-compromising way.

Financial applications are peculiar compared to other software products due to a wide user base and heightened attention to security compliance. These and other factors make the testing process slightly more challenging than that of other software. 

Here’s a banking application testing challenges list that shows the issues QA specialists have to pay attention to:

  • Multiple device and browser support
    As a banking app covers people’s essential needs, a developer has to ensure it’s easy to access. That’s why the product should work consistently across different browsers and operating systems — including their older versions. When it comes to hardware support, a user should be able to open and use the app on the current and older iOS and Android devices.
  • Transferring data during system migrations
    All procedures and routines have to be re-tested during such a migration. Also, the development team needs to have a clear idea of ways to fetch, upload, and store data in a new system.
  • Gathering test data
    Before opting for automated or manual testing, banking application development teams need to ensure that it’s legally compliant. During the entire testing period, the data should be protected with techniques like masking.

Banking Application Testing in PFLB

PFLB is a team of professional testers with a tried-and-proven testing strategy for financial applications. Since 2008, we’ve completed dozens of projects across multiple industries, including core banking system testing projects.

We’ve provided small, medium, and big enterprises with confidence and a stable application performance. 

PFLB has a robust testing toolkit that includes the existing tools for computer, Android and iOS software testing as well as proprietary solutions.

Our experts use SOAP/REST-based transaction processing emulators for banking application load testing, an HSM Plugin for JMeter for data streams integration testing, VISA|MC|MK Clearing transaction emulators, and many other solutions. 

Our clients get continuous assistance on solving functional and performance issues. After the product is released, we will provide you with maintenance tips and, if needed, will reiterate selected tests. 

Have a Project in Mind?​
We have been working on performance testing projects since 2008.
Drop us a line to find out what our team can do for you.
Get a quote You’ll hear back from our tech account manager in one day if not sooner

Final thoughts

Thorough testing can’t be optional for banking applications as they deal with large volumes of confidential data. An error-prone app puts the users of the banking system at risk and endangers their financial assets. 

Through testing, a company owner can ensure that users will be able to freely perform transactions and check the status of a deposit or their account balance. 

If you are looking for high-quality testing services, PFLB is the place to contact. With over 10 years of experience, we have a solid understanding of the banking domain and are familiar with the latest fintech industry standards.
Take a look at our services to choose those your project could benefit from. To describe your software and find out more about the ways to test and optimize its performance, contact us.

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