Mobile banking gives a customer the opportunity to bank at anyplace, anytime. The challenge for the financial industry is to make it happen. Mobile testing is critical to this unprecedented advancement in that it guarantees that a users experience will be smooth and flawless.
My friend had it made. His company got bought out, and so did his work contract. His last bonus amounted to $250,000. He decided to take a little trip. He took his money and put it into a trading account. He sat down in a local park, flipped on his smartphone, and started to trade stocks. After about two hours of day trading he amassed a profit of 2% on his money. He pressed a few buttons on his phone and whoosh – the money transferred to his checking account. The principal was never touched. Then he used a travel application and booked a flight to Berlin. Another app to order the car to take him to the airport, then another to reserve his hotel room and by the end of the day he was on his European vacation.
After two weeks of living it up on beer and schnitzel he ran out of pocket money. So he sat down in another park. It took him three hours this time but he earned another 2% on his money. From Germany he used his phone to transfer his gains to his local checking account. Then he bought a ticket to Venice. Then Madrid. Then Athens. Then London.
Here’s the most amazing part – he did all his mobile banking on a smartphone. A handful of applications enabled him to buy and sell stock, move money from one account to another, check his balances, and of course, make purchases.
Mobile Banking is Here to Stay
According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, the following transformation has already taken place:
51% of smartphone owners have used mobile banking in the past 12 months
33% of all mobile phone owners have used mobile banking in the past 12 months
38% of mobile bankers have deposited a check using a mobile phone in the past year
39% of people who made point-of-sale mobile payments did so by scanning a barcode or QR code displayed on their phone’s screen at the cash register
69% of mobile banking users have checked their account balance before making a large purchase
69% of the unbanked have access to a mobile phone, approximately half of which are smartphones
88% of the underbanked have access to a mobile phone
There are over a billion people on earth who don’t have a bank account, but have a mobile device. Banks are scurrying to provide them services they can access with a mobile application. Mobile banking means for the first time a customer can bank at anyplace, anytime. That’s a game changer.
Mobile applications have become a vital part of the banking business model. Mobile application testing is the best way to guarantee success in the new model. A bank’s mobile application is the main interface between itself and the customer. The quality of that experience means everything. If an application isn’t working properly, it’s no different than your ATM card not working. If there are performance issues with how fast the mobile application is running, it’s like waiting on a long line to perform your transaction. What would you do if these problems happened all the time?
You would change banks, right?
That’s why testing mobile applications is so important. It is the part of the development process that guarantees the quality of the mobile application. Banks are a unique industry in that there are additional requirements for their mobile testing.
Challenges for Mobile Banking
For the banking industry mobile testing can be especially challenging. There are unique factors that exist in this industry making the quality of their mobile application and even bigger task to guarantee.
Privacy is essential. Countries have secrecy laws demanding that banks protect customer information. If a banking application is compromised not only can that bank be liable for civil damages to the customer, it is in violation of the law and can face heavy fines and censure.
Lots of legacy. Banks were among the first to introduce computers to their industry. They have applications with programming code dating back almost 50 years. When your mobile applications have computing instructions in it dating back to the Beatles, you must test to make sure that new functions don’t impact areas of the application they weren’t meant to. Banks spend up to 80% of their testing efforts on this. It’s called regression testing.
Banks also deal with a lot of external applications, receiving data from multiple sources in equities, fixed income, commodities, derivatives, and more. Most data does not originate from the application it was used, making a mobile testers job all the more difficult. A change in interest rates can change the value of a million savings accounts. Changes in stock prices change the value of customer portfolio accounts. Maneuvering from external databases to internal ones, and handling all of the updates is a big challenge for banks quality assurance.
Thousands of different device types run different release levels of mobile operating systems. The universe of permutations is daunting.
You must test over local networks. In order to offer banking anywhere/anytime you have to make sure your mobile application can handle it. Anyone can access an application anywhere on earth. Remember my friend? There is no way a bank could know where he will be accessing their mobile application next. An application must be tested so it is ready when a sales executive is in Jakarta trying to access the app because the hotel he is staying in doesn’t accept the company credit card and he desperately needs make a transfer. If you are a nationwide bank you still need to test throughout the country. Even in America, where over 80% of the population lives in urban areas, 97% of the land mass is rural. There will be areas where someone is travelling through, over, or in with less cell towers or bandwidth. If your bank is a local one you may not need to test location, but you still need to test position. What happens when your user suddenly enters an elevator? What about if he is on a train that that train goes into a tunnel? Can you be sure your application will continue to perform as if nothing has changed?
The Stakes are Too Big to Fail
Research from Vocalink’s mobile banking subsidiary, Zapp, revealed that 21 million British people would change banks to access mobile payments. Seven million Brits are planning to switch retail banks in 2015 to have better mobile payments services. Research carried out by Atomik Research showed 44% of consumers plan to switch accounts if their current bank has no plans to offer mobile payments.
Customers are banking on desktops less, and mobile more. You can transfer money, deposit checks, pay bills, and make all sorts of purchases online and in stores using just your mobile device. The banks that offer these services will very quickly attract customers away from the banks that don’t. According to the research from Bain & Company, mobile accounted for about a third of transactions. Online banking via desktop decreased by 3%.
Mobile banking is still a new industry. The latest convenience is just one small innovation away. Banks have to be able to quickly react to that innovation coming from their competitors. If they don’t they will see a mass exodus of customers flocking to the bank with the latest feature. A customer used to stick with a bank for decades. Today he will leave in months if the bank doesn’t offer the right mobile services.
What You Need
All of this creates a multi-tiered matrix of testing for the bank requiring speed, versatility, functionality, performance, security, and productivity.
1. Speed. If customers will bolt en masse for the latest version of a mobile application, then a bank must make sure it can adapt quickly. Once bank A announces it is adding the following services to its mobile banking mix, bank B has to offer it also, and fast. The capabilities have to be developed, then tested to perfection before they can be made available. If the service is available, but it doesn’t work, it will be worse than if the bank doesn’t provide the service. Either way the bank loses customers. A testing operation must focuses on covering the most test area in the least amount of time.
2. Versatility. By and large desktops come in one size, and work on one or two types of operating systems. Mobile is more complicated. There are four major operating systems running on over 20,000 different types of devices, all of varying sizes. Testing is far more complicated with a test coverage of over 80,000 scenarios and expanding fast. It becomes a serious challenge when market standards demand you cover this expanding matrix in a rapidly declining amount of time.
3. Functionality. The main functions of a mobile app like login, execution, buttons, and database manipulation must be tested. With such a wide test area a bank must cover you need an automated testing tool that speeds up the process and tests over multiple devices all at once.
4. Performance. You need something that will simulate every local network worldwide. A bank may be located in Iowa, but it can have customers vacationing in Tokyo or conducting business in New Delhi. A banking application can be accessed from any point on earth, and it needs to be able to function as fast in one point as it does in another. Along with location an applications performance must be tested for position. What happens when a user enters an elevator, or goes through a tunnel.
5. Security. The testing process itself must be secure. A company must be able to test within its firewall, shuttling information safely within its private VPN.
6. Productivity with Bundled services. It is inefficient and costly to buy different products for different types of mobile testing. You need to be able to go to one place for all your testing needs. You save money, time in not having to learn new systems, and enjoy economies of scale as your testing team becomes expert in just one system over time.
The SeeTest Solution
A bank cannot fail, not even once. Just one story about a family losing half their savings on a computer error can, and will, scare their customers into moving their money out at the click of a button. It takes an hour to set up a new account at another bank and 2 minutes to write a check to the new account in the amount of the total balance of your soon to be former bank.
There is a solution. The solution what seven of the top ten banks on earth use to perfect their mobile applications. They go with Experitest’s SeeTest Solution Suite.
The SeeTest Solution Suite consists of an end-to-end mobile applications testing solution that covers all of your mobile application testing needs.
SeeTest Automation. SeeTest automation enables you to generate test scripts without having to know the code, and perform tests simultaneously on multiple devices at the click of a button. You can connect to devices on your computer or through the cloud, and a reflection of the device will appear on the screen. Perform the series of operations you want to test for using the keyboard and mouse, and SeeTest Automation will automatically create test scripts for you based on the actions you are performing. When you are done the test script can be run at any time you want. You can run the script over any operating system, and on any mobile device. You can run the script on multiple devices at the same time. You can take the script and change it to any of the main ALM coding languages. Enjoy a boost in productivity by covering a whole lot more in less of time.
SeeTest Network Virtualization. Performance is quickly becoming the new functional testing for mobile applications. If an application is working too slowly, to the end user it may as well be broken. The challenge is to make sure your mobile application works as well in Toronto as it does in Thailand. SeeTest Network Virtualization simulates any local network on earth by putting your mobile application through different levels of bandwidth, latency, and jitter, and seeing if it performs to the standards of the user. SeeTest NV has a special feature where you can simulate changes in position within a location. What if your user in Toronto goes in an elevator, or rides through a tunnel?
SeeTest Cloud. SeeTest Cloud lets you connect as many devices you want to a central server, creating an on premise mobile device lab. This lab can be accessed by anyone in the company. Every tester, regardless of which office he is working in, has access to all of the devices in the lab. A financial institution doesn’t have to, ahem, break the bank buying the same devices more than once. With SeeTest Cloud, any tester can access devices on his local computer or in the cloud using SeeTest Automation or SeeTest Manual at their local work station to perform their testing. SeeTest Network Virtualization integrates into SeeTest Automation giving a tester, anywhere in the company, the power to test for both function and performance using all the company resources. This bundled suite gives each tester tremendous productivity in perfecting a mobile application to top level quality. SeeTest Cloud operates within a company’s firewall, and moves information from the on premise mobile device lab to each tester safely through a company’s private VPN.
Mobile applications testing for banking is as complex as it can get. Our suite of solutions meets the toughest challenges in the industry with the best products on the market. That is why the biggest banks on earth have been using Experitest’s SeeTest Solution Suite for years with stunning success. Experitest’s bundle of mobile applications testing solutions operates on the highest level of precision, efficiency, and thoroughness to make sure that your end user enjoys the best experience with your business on their mobile device.