Bridging Agile, Test Automation, and Security for Web Banking Applications
The banking or financial segment is probably the most complex one from a quality assurance and regulations perspective. The requirements of a banking web application are huge. It can be accessed from various geographical locations, by different personas, and across multiple platforms, while providing top-notch service to their customers.
Customers today have various choices, therefore expect the website to be very accessible, functionality rich, and of course highly secure. If either the user experience (UX) is not sufficient or there is a compatibility issue with a browser/platform they would ultimately turn to the competition.
To assure high customer satisfaction, especially when developing and testing a web banking web application, where the majority are responsive the following considerations need to be accounted for:
- Banking apps are out to support a large number of online transactions hence must be tested for robustness and scalability – this can be done through load testing in virtualized environments that mimic the production environments. Such environments are required to mock a lot of test data, and to match real user environment as close as possible.
- Web banking apps typically integrate with lots of 3rd party services, databases, and more – such integrations must be well covered through both functional API testing and load testing
- Banking apps like any other web apps are consumed across different browsers and operating systems, therefore, having the proper test coverage and grid is imperative for success. Assuring compatibility of the web banking app with different browsers, OS versions, 3rd party services need to be an ongoing conversation backed by a supported test matrix.
- Such apps deal with huge amount of data, consequently storage management, backups etc. are an important piece to consider.
- One if not the most important piece in banking apps is the level of security. Regardless of regulations, and audit-readiness, such organizations ought to protect their customers’ data privacy daily. They must put in place methods to identify immediate breaches or data at risk. Today more than ever, such apps are a key target for fraud attacks either from mobile web browsers or from desktop machines. Continuously scanning for security issues in production and as part of the pre-production, continuous testing is an important practice. In addition, enforcing sophisticated authentication would be a great step toward assuring better website security. Continuous code analysis both manual and using automated testing is a common practice to identify security issues. Lastly, teams should have this type of testing as a quality release criterion per each build acceptance cycle or iteration.
- Testing such apps across different languages and locations is an additional product requirement. While not unique to banking apps, this is still a fundamental web testing requirement
- Banking users are age-agnostic and can be young students, business people, and elderly retirement folks. That’s why, testing the website for accessibility is an additional imperative, that when isn’t met can cause business damage.
The above considerations are exhaustive but critical to the success of a web banking application. Today’s apps are not slowing down, and only becoming more advanced and introduce complex scenarios to better serve customers and be more competitive.
The only way to succeed in continuous delivery of web baking applications that covers all the above functionality flows, security, usability, performance, and accessibility is to have a high degree of automation, such that can be executed upon each code change.
Having the test automation in place is great, but such automation needs to be driven through a robust framework, and enable script authoring following best practices, as well as run at scale on the relevant permutations.
Web testing is just becoming harder each day. Technology introduces responsive web and progressive web capabilities that can drive greater functionality and delight the banking end-users. Such innovation can have a great business price on banking organizations that fail to implement a proper quality strategy that considers the above-mentioned pillars. There are a lot of testing tools out there, but there needs to be a proper fit for such tools with the DevOps and Agile practices that the organizations are using to deliver their software.