In the banking industry, consumers increasingly demand digital tools to execute transactions and access services that banks and other financial institutions offer. Ease of use, convenience, personalization, and 24*7 services are among the significant factors driving this consumer demand. In line with this surging demand, organizations compete to deliver the best mobile banking applications and websites that facilitate everything from checking account balances and transferring money to availing loans and trading stocks.
Banking applications have a complex structure, as they accommodate multi-layered workflows and offer a wide range of features. In addition, as these apps deal with sensitive data, including customers’ financial and personal information, the level of data protection should also be flawless. Hence, software testing for banking applications needs to be designed with utmost precision, as the lack of test coverage can lead to data breaches, loss of funds, banking fraud, and other felonies.
Banking Domain Application Testing
Banking application testing is a software testing procedure to examine a banking application's functionality, performance, and security. Mobile banking app testing allows a software development team to predict and proactively manage the banking app’s protection and performance issues. The primary focus of banking application testing is to guarantee that the banking software's actions and features are secure and run smoothly.
Also check out: Tips for Testing Mobile Banking Apps
Characteristics of Banking Domain Applications
In the post-COVID era, implementing technology in the banking, financial service, and insurance (BFSI) sector is no longer optional. Not only has the pandemic expedited the rate of digital transformation within organizations, but it has also sped up the digital embracement rate among consumers globally. As users across the world have become significantly more technology-dependent, financial services companies must rapidly adapt to new trends.
Mobile and online banking services have opened new doors for financial service providers to build a lasting bond with customers, reduce operating costs, and comply with regulations. However, if not monitored effectively, a banking domain application can expose a financial service provider to a multitude of risks, such as security breaches, faulty transactions, and bad customer relationships due to increased bounce rates, all of which may negatively impact the profit, functioning, and reputation of the organization.
To follow industry standards, a financial service provider’s software development team needs to be aware of the critical characteristics of successful banking software.
Some of the crucial characteristics of a banking application are listed below. It must:
- Allow several user sessions supported with multi-tier functionalities
- Enable large-scale integration of multiple programs, including trading accounts
- Handle complicated workflows
- Enable bulk and real-time processing
- Facilitate high-pace transactions per second
- Allow safe transactions
- Keep track of day-to-day transactions
- Troubleshoot client difficulties
- Have a massive storage facility
- Allow for the management of disasters and recovery
- Enable user support on multiple platforms (Mac, Linux, Unix, and Windows)
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Banking Domain Application Testing Workflow
1. Gather and Identify Requirements: A tester documents the requirements and sorts those under the specified use case or functional specification. In the BFSI sector, testers should have sufficient domain knowledge, as banking has multiple sub-domains, and one full-fledged banking application may integrate all these domains. They should be able to think from both the stakeholder’s and the end user’s points of view. For every aspect of an application, such as money transfers, bill payments, mortgages, loans, and deposits, there exists a module, and the tester must categorize the requirement into a specific module.
2. Build a Business Scenario and Review Requirements: Once the application requirements list is set up, it must be reviewed further. QA engineers build business scenarios covering all business requirements based on the requirement documents (including function specifications or use cases). These are high-level scenarios and may not include any detailed steps. This review involves all stakeholders - business and technical - including QA engineers, development leads, and peer business analysts. They cross-check to ensure that the existing and new business workflows are not violated. Once all requirements are verified and validated, follow-up actions and requirement document revisions are done based on the same.
3. Build a Test Case Suite: Post review, automation engineers select test cases to determine which of these test cases can be automated and create custom scripts. In software testing in financial services, a QA specialist can also opt for manual testing, wherein they assemble a team of testers and allocate responsibilities to each one.
This stage involves:
Test Case Preparation: Test cases are derived from business scenarios. One business scenario leads to several positive and negative test cases. Generally, the tools used during this stage are test management tools such as ALM/Quality Center, qTest, TestRail, and TestDirector.
Test Case Review: Reviews by peer QA engineers.
Test Case Execution: Test case execution may be manual or automatic, involving tools like Quality Center (QC) and Unified Functional Testing (UFT).
4. Functional Testing: The QA team conducts functional testing after test case creation. This process ensures that main user workflows are carried out without any bugs or errors and that the features are implemented per requirements.
Functional Testing Checklist:
- Verify if keeping mandatory fields empty shows error messages. For example, while transferring the money manually, the ‘Amount’ should be entered and cannot be kept empty
- Verify whether all the fields accept valid values and show error messages after entering an invalid value. For example, the 'Account Number' field should not accept special characters
- Verify whether all the fields have a valid character limit. For example, the ‘Account Number’ field should accept values between 9 and 18 characters
- Make sure that all the links in the application are clickable and land on the desired page
- Verify whether all the buttons are clickable and work in the desired manner
- Verify whether all the calculations are performed in the desired manner
- Check the scrolling functionality of the application
- Verify whether the application is working in flight mode
- Make sure that the application works during the ongoing transaction when a phone call, SMS, or any other notifications are received
- Verify the application installation, uninstallation, and update processes
5. Database Testing: During database testing in the banking domain, a tester ensures that the app has data integrity, while QA specialists assess the database schema and data types, stored functions and procedures, and data loading speed. The process involves testing database objects like schemas, tables, views, triggers, and access controls.
The major focus of database testing is to ensure that the banking domain application can store and retrieve data from the database without data loss. It also ensures that the completed transactions are committed, and aborted transactions are reverted to avoid any mismatch in the stored data. Yet another crucial aspect that database testing verifies is that only authorized applications and users are given access to the database and the underlying tables.
Banking software and applications involve complex transactions that are performed both at UI and database levels. The complicated database is an entirely separate layer in the application. Hence, this crucial testing is carried out by database specialists.
Database testing involves techniques like:
- Data Loading
- Database Migration
- Testing DB Schema and Datatypes
- Rules Testing
- Testing Stored Procedures and Functions
- Testing Triggers
- Data Integrity
6. Security Testing: Security testing ensures that the software has no security flaws. Security testing is highly critical for banking applications and software, as they are highly sensitive in nature. Also, developers must put in extra effort to protect user data from hacker attacks or fraudulent activities. During security testing, the QA team ensures that the application complies with the security regulations and standards, like Open Web Application Security Project, and exposes no sensitive data for public display. During test preparation, testing teams need to include negative and positive test scenarios to break into the system and report them before any unauthorized individual access it. However, to prevent hacking, the banking institution or financial service provider should also implement a multi-layer access validation, like a one-time password.
7. User Acceptance Testing: This testing is the final stage of all testing done to ensure the application's compliance with real-world scenarios. A software development team must be confident that real-world users will be satisfied with the application's functionalities. Hence, QA specialists assess the user acceptance of the application by asking a focus group to test it.
Banking domain applications have multiple users in the range of millions. Simulating such a high number of users may create a challenge for the testing team. Due to the presence of multiple users, it can be expected that they use different types of devices, connections, or even operating systems. Testing each combination of devices, OS, and connections is a complex and tedious process. Moreover, additional time and care are required to test bank applications, as they deal with money and sensitive information.
Sample Test Cases for Banking Application
1. Test Cases for New Branch
- Generate a new branch with data from the valid and invalid tests
- Generate a new branch without data
- Generate a new branch with existing data
- Double-check the reset and cancel options
- Add branch details with valid and invalid test data
- Update branch details with existing test data
- Verify whether the new branch has been added
- Check if the cancelation option is working
- Check the branch deletion with and without dependencies
- Check if the branch search option is working
2. Test Cases for New Role
- Generate a new role with data from the valid and invalid tests
- Generate a new role without data
- Check if a new role can be created with existing test data
- Check the role description and role type
- Check whether the cancelation and reset option is working
- Check the role deletion process with and without dependency
- Double-check the links on the role detail page
- Check the admin login without test data
- Double-check all home links for the admin role
- Check if the admin can change the password with valid and invalid test data
- Check if the admin can log out successfully
3. Test Cases for Customers and Bankers
- Check if all visitor and customer links are working properly
- Double-check the customer’s login with valid and invalid test data
- Check the customer’s login without any data
- Check the banker login without any data
- Check the banker’s login with valid or invalid test data
- Check whether the customer or banker was able to log out successfully
4. Test Cases for New Users
- Check if the new user can be created with valid and invalid test data
- Generate a new user with existing branch test data
- Check whether the cancel and reset option is working properly
- Add user details with valid and invalid test data
- Check the deletion of the new user
- Check whether the new user can be verified
- Check mandatory input parameters
- Check optional input parameters
- Check whether a user can be created without optional parameters
5. Test Cases for Net Banking Application
- Check whether the user is able to open the bank website
- Double-check if all the links on the website are working
- Check whether the user is able to create a new account
- Verify whether the user is able to log in with a valid or invalid username and password
- Check if the user is allowed to change the password
- Check whether a proper error message is shown if an invalid username or password is entered
- Make sure that after repeated attempts to log in with an incorrect password, the user should be shown an error message and blocked
- Verify whether the user is able to perform some basic transactions
- Make sure that the user is able to add a beneficiary with valid and invalid details
- Check whether the user can delete the beneficiary
- Make sure that the user is able to make transactions to the newly added beneficiary
- Verify whether the user is able to enter the amount in a decimal number
- Check whether the user is not able to enter negative numbers in the amount field
- Check whether the user is allowed to make transactions with or without a minimum balance
- Check whether the user can add a new RD
- Make sure that the correct message is showing in case of a transaction done with an insufficient balance
- Check whether the user is asked for confirmation before any transaction is made
- Check whether acknowledgment receipts are provided on each successful transaction
- Check if the user is able to transfer money to multiple accounts
- Check whether the user can cancel the transaction
- Make sure that the account details reflect the financial transactions done
- Check whether the timeout feature has been implemented
- Make sure that in case of session time out, a user should log in again
- Make sure that the proper session time out is done in case of any inactivity
- Make sure that while doing the transaction, the user is taken to secure mode
- Check whether the user was able to log out successfully
- Double-check the search and reset options
What are the Essential Steps to Improve the Banking Application Test Results?
- Test the banking domain applications regularly
- Take control and participate in all testing team activities, such as collecting requirements, reviewing them, and composing a testing scenario
- Involve real users to help you get the most reliable results
- Use a combination of manual and automated testing
- Use real devices for testing, as emulators cannot replace testing on real mobile devices
- Collect feedback to improve your app’s performance
Web and mobile banking apps are becoming the most crucial platforms for financial institutions to interact with consumers effectively and build strong customer relationships that help retain them. Today, customers expect their online banking experiences to be just as smooth and easy as their in-person banking experiences. Thus, a website or app with weak security or a lackluster user experience can lead to poor customer satisfaction ratings, lower brand reputation, litigation, poor customer retention rates, and even loss of customers. Around 46% of the customers below the age of 55 years would switch banks for a better digital experience, according to the Mobiquity Digital Banking Report.
Additionally, the BFSI industry represented the second most costly industry impacted by data breaches in 2021. The average cost incurred due to data breaches rose by nearly 10% to USD 4.24 million, which was the highest ever recorded, according to a study conducted by IBM. The report also highlighted that faster incident response times were associated with substantially lower costs, with a cost savings of nearly 30% if a breach was contained in less than 200 days.
Therefore, as so many factors remain at stake for the BFSI industry, banking domain application testing not only plays a crucial role in the banking software development lifecycle but also becomes crucial to maintaining positive customer relationships and upholding the institution's reputation.
HeadSpin solutions help your testing teams ensure your app's testing requirements are met, from functional, performance, and regression testing to guaranteeing mobile banking solutions' security, accessibility, compliance, and global consistency. Our teams are available to help you get the most out of your investment and assure optimal digital experiences for your customers.
Check out how Citi Ventures uses HeadSpin for automated testing and improving user experience
1. What are the three main testings involved in the database testing process?
Ans: Structural testing, functional testing, and non-functional testing.
2. How does the HeadSpin Platform help BFSI organizations secure their apps?
Ans: HeadSpin Platform physically secures devices with an electronic lock and associated access audit log. BFSI organizations equipped with the HeadSpin solution can get an audit trail of all actions performed on devices and hosts. Also, with the help of a dedicated VPC, the Platform can control data access.
3. What are the different types of security testing?
Ans: The main types of security testing include vulnerability testing, security scanning, penetration testing, security audit, risk assessment, ethical hacking, posture assessment, and SQL injection.
4. What is structural testing?
Ans: Structural testing involves testing database objects, like databases, schemas, tables, views, triggers, and access controls. This testing ensures that data types in tables are in sync with the corresponding variables in the application.