Banking QA and Test Automation for Remittance Accrual

October 28, 2022  |  Maryia Kharitcheva

In its most recent brief on migration and development, the World Bank estimates that the volume of remittances will reach USD 630 billion by the end of this year, marking a 4.2-percent increase year-over-year.

As a rule, global financial institutions consider remittances as relatively non-significant amounts of money sent from one individual to a household or another individual residing in low- and middle-income countries. These transfers, however, empower people around the world to support their friends and families in times of war, pandemic, or any other tragic circumstances. Remittances are often a lifeline for those in need.

Unlike sending money as a birthday gift or chipping in to purchase a new piece of furniture together with your loved ones, for many, remittances are not a question of merely exchanging monetary value; they are a matter of survival. That is why it is imperative that money transfer businesses (MTBs) operate 24/7 and ensure that the cross-border transaction always ends up in the account of the specified recipient on time.

Just as in the broader financial services market, there are a wealth of factors that determine a company’s ability to be stable and deliver in the money transmission business. Quality assurance and test automation are one of the lesser visible yet utmostly vital mechanisms that fuel the engine.

Why Automated Testing is Essential for Banking

In this article, we will look at quality assurance and, more precisely, automated testing in the banking sector through the lens of a regular MTB.

When someone wants to send money, they first need to sign up for the service they plan on using. The registration process normally requires first and last names, an e-mail address, a password, and a phone number. Automated testing helps MTBs use test cases for mobile banking applications to check different scenarios and find out whether the application behaves as intended — and, if not, what response that unexpected behavior triggers. For example, if the user enters a name that consists of one character only, the system must return an error. The same goes for a password that is not strong enough or has been compromised in the past (remember that we are talking about financial transactions here), an e-mail address that contains a non-existent domain zone (hence the user’s inability to receive critical notifications), or a phone number that is one digit short.

Once the user has successfully signed up and confirmed their e-mail, they need to be able to log in. Once again, financial data is super-sensitive and fragile, so an MTB may decide to offer — or even enforce — a two-factor authentication (2FA) for all their customers. That would require querying an API of a certain provider (for example, Google Authenticator) and executing functional regression testing — the automated one.

Before allowing one to make payments, some MTBs also mandate that the user undergo KYC (Know-Your-Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) identity verification procedures. These are multi-layered, meaning the customer needs to submit their passport information and pictures or pass a video interview with a compliance officer. Now, a number of MTBs do not have an in-house compliance team, so they often employ services of third-party providers, meaning test automation becomes even more vital.

Once the user is all set and good-to-go, they need to add their card. For that, they have to enter the cardholder name in English, the card number itself, as well as the expiration date and the CVV number. Automated testing helps ensure that all expected validations on the data entered by the user are performed. For example, the card number must contain the correct number of digits, the expiration date must be adequate (no bank issues cards before 2099, right?), and the CVC code must be three digits long. If the user enters data in an inappropriate format, the application does not allow the user to finalize the action. The next step is contacting the card issuer — or a bank — and verifying all the data, a process that needs to be rigorously tested as well.

After completing the transfer, a receipt should be generated and delivered to the sender’s inbox either automatically or on-demand. These steps should also be tested because the recipient may very much need this document to prove the source of income should a corresponding request arrive from their domestic tax authority.

Last but not least, think of a situation when an MTB decides to introduce a new feature — for example, a recurring payment for when the sender knows exactly the amount the recipient will need on a monthly basis over the next half-year. Regression testing is mandatory here to make sure that by injecting a new functionality you do not break the ones that have already existed. And automated testing does an excellent job here.

Banking QA: Bottom Line

To sum it up, QA in finance rewards both money transmission service providers and their clientele substantially.

The former can speed up time-to-market for new functionalities, reduce costs and latency, and boost revenues due to test automation. The latter make timely transfers that will land at the destination account without interruption, helping the recipient carry on and live another day.

There are numerous challenges that quality assurance in general and test automation specifically can help banking services like this overcome. When you think of it, MTBs offer multiple interfaces at once, meaning you can send money either from a web or a mobile application. Those two need to be interconnected and sync data in real time. Now, there are different tools for you to test on different environments individually, but we at IBA Group decided that there needs to be a one-stop solution — and that is how we came up with JuNaSe.

If you are a money transfer business representative, please check out the suite of test automation services we provide for our partners in the banking area.

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