Testing mobile and internet banking platforms are essential in the current banking landscape. Customers no longer wish to continue with brick-and-mortar banking. They avoid visiting banks and standing in long queues as they know that the banks will meet their requirements even from a remote location. This daily dealing and transactions are now pushed to an extreme, where banking seems impossible without mobile platforms. Of course, inadequate performances of mobile banking have various consequences, and there is no room for pondering whether the mobile and internet banking platforms need testing. The answer to the question will always be a big “YES”.
Indian millennials totalling 440 million, compose 46% of the workforce and contribute 70% of the household income. An average millennial checks his smartphone once every 15 minutes. Digitisation has made it easier for millennials and other banking customers to access their banking accounts 24/7 without waiting in long queues. Mobile banking and internet banking have reduced the cost of banking and streamlined processes to deliver more value to customers. The key to gaining a competitive advantage is customer-centricity in banking applications.
Banking applications and software have complex structures which incorporate a wide range of features and ensure security to all its users, while ensuring a seamless and user-friendly experience. If a banking application is released full of bugs and errors with performance issues, it will damage the credibility of the bank. Banking has essentially become a multichannel provider, and a successful testing strategy is testing cloud, mobile, internet and other aspects of the banking applications to ensure proper performance.
Let’s look at the ten aspects that banking applications (mobile or internet banking) must consider while testing the platform
- Total coverage of workflow and business requirements
- The functional aspects of the application
- The security aspect of the application
- A fool proof disaster recovery programme to protect users from unfair practices
- Data Integrity
- User application, support service sectors and facilitate payments through multiple gateways
- Integrate well with other apps, including billing apps, credit cards, and trading accounts
- Fast processing of secured transactions
- Increased storage capacity of banking apps
- Be user-friendly, support users across all platforms and on all devices
- High auditing capability to troubleshoot customer issues
Testing Internet banking platform and mobile banking platform for banking apps
While testing banking applications, one of the important issues to address is data complexity. Banking applications store all sorts of private information, data, passwords, and assets of the customer in the backend. The backend databases should not be affected by malware. Testing ensures that the data is protected. The bank should have an automation tool to check data connectivity continuously. Data connectivity testing is tested over a virtual private network continuously. This will ensure that the private data is safe. The following testing methods are recommended for internet banking and mobile banking platforms:
1) Privacy governance: The most common privacy governance model that is used in data protection is a decentralised model where different business owners within the organisation are responsible for data protection matters within the scope of Indian data protection laws and requirements, stay compliant and being proactive in solving issues. They should have expert knowledge of the data protection law and its governance and the ability to fulfil the tasks set out in the regulation. There will be various areas such as legal, IT and others involved in this process.
2) Functional testing: The design and configuration of the banking apps have to be perfectly configured. In reality, many banking apps are designed and configured imperfectly.
The testers of the mobile and internet banking platform have to understand that all the modules and the system function as designed by developers while testing the app.
3) Performance Testing: Performance levels consist of infrastructure, backward integration, and connectivity. Performance failures plague both internet and mobile banking. There should be regular administrative oversight of transactions happening during regular interim periods. Load and stress tests should be regularly performed so that transactions have multiple supports at the same time. The performance of the banking app comes under pressure during festival times. User experience is affected when there is a performance failure of the banking app. It could be as simple as cyber/IT failure leading to incorrect balances showing in the customer accounts. This leads to mass panic. The banking app must obviate such potentialities.
4) Integration testing: Users use many different channels and internet connections, and testing should consider the fact that the performance of the banking app in different channels is uniform. Banking apps should integrate with programs used by customers without difficulty and without creating hurdles and complexities. When different system modules interact on the customer’s mobile banking app, there will be bugs and errors, so the testing teams must be cautious about bugs and incompatibility impairing the performance. Some bugs are detected in the early stages of the software development life cycle. Bugs could be due to a broken database schema or a wrong cache integration. Integration testing is necessary to understand the variations in the developer’s logic against the software requirements. It is also necessary to validate the modules’ interaction with the third-party tools and Application Programming Interface. There is a multiplicity of mobile devices, used by the bank’s customers in the marketplace. The multitude of customer devices using different platforms and networks must be tested. As this is a complex process, the automation must be planned properly.
5) Accessibility testing: Users of mobile apps may suffer from various physical problems which include being partially sighted, being dyslexic, suffering colour blindness, movability issues relating to their fingers, suffering from arthritis or other issues like using a small screen. The mobile app should be user friendly as much as possible. Testing screen readers, analysing colour ratios, html validator, inbuilt accessibility options, WCAG 2.0 checkpoints, site readability and navigation will ensure better accessibility.
6) Usability , Usage and Acceptance testing: Usability testing must bear in mind the needs and requirements of a different group of customers. The design of the banking app should therefore be simple. It should be tested among different groups of people as not all will have technical skills. The banking app should be user-friendly and easy enough to use so that even the luddite is able to use the banking app easily.
Acceptance testing ensures the mobile apps with their various features are accessible to the end-users and also for business needs. This type of testing could use a black box type of testing of end-users to make the app more user-friendly and accessible to end users.
7) Data Migration testing: This testing checks whether all data has migrated with integrity from the source platform to the destination platform. This is particularly necessary when data is migrated from legacy systems to the newer applications. Testing has to ensure the integrity of migrated data.
8) Security testing: Security testing is one of the most important aspects of testing the banking app. Banking apps are prone to fraud and phishing attacks. Vulnerability scanners and penetration testing can help in this process. Testing procedures must ensure that all international security standards are followed. The privacy governance in mobile banking apps is key as it interfaces with several other third-party applications. Trojan horses could be hidden in free games which can steal the user data. That is why several authentication factors are put in place before a customer can access his mobile banking app. The Operating system and network vary across various user mobile devices. Testing must adhere to all platform, network, and operating system security standards.
Mobiles are susceptible to theft and loss, malware, and malicious applications; there is also a lack of maturity in fraud tools and controls. There are also SMS, fraud, and operating system vulnerabilities. Testing should control these risks and ensure compliance with all security protocols.
9) Regression testing: Most banks are continuously innovating and adding new features to their banking apps. When mobile banking apps are modified, the changes can have unexpected consequences. Regression testing aims at making sure that no bugs or functionality impairments are caused due to such modifications. Regression testing is crucial for banking apps as they enable banking transactions and use the protected private data of customers. Therefore, regression testing of all updates to the mobile banking app is essential.
10) UI/UX testing: In this type of testing the testers must make sure how buttons, fields, toolbars, colours, fonts, and icons respond to the user input. Testers need to make sure that the mobile app, software, or platform responds perfectly to the end-user.
Testing mobile and internet banking platforms can be a complex and demanding process but experienced users can employ strategies that can help banks and their clients secure a vulnerability-free mobile app and a user-friendly interface. The mobile banking app and the internet banking app solution provided by the bank should be a secure, user-friendly app which is free of bugs and errors, where the user can navigate between various pages/screens with minimum difficulty and make a seamless 24/7 banking experience a true reality. The importance of the role of testers and other software specialists in transforming this dream into practical reality cannot be understated.