With lower barriers to entry than ever before, the growth of fintech enables start-ups to compete with traditional financial service providers in the financial markets. Slick apps offering financial services through a smartphone offer convenience and accessibility to consumers that can be enormously profitable for providers. At the same time, tools like algorithmic trading and cryptocurrencies create new and profitable opportunities.
Fintech is an exciting industry with new technology being developed every day. This rapid development, combined with a need for rock-solid security, presents an interesting challenge for software testing in fintech. Read on to understand how software can be developed and delivered quickly in a market that demands accurate and reliable software.
The very nature of fintech requires that software be developed to rigorous standards. The app marketplace is hard to ignore; sixty-three percent of adults use their phones for banking. These users create billions of transactions on a daily basis. Fintech software must be fast, reliable and secure.
There is already the expectation of users that the apps on their phone will just work. While minor glitches are often overlooked by users in most apps, this is not so in fintech. Small issues can have enormous consequences, and any delays can create vast backlogs for data processing that must be dealt with. What are some of the challenges fintech apps face, and how do companies like Paypal manage to consistently deliver software that is secure and reliable?
The need for concurrency
Fintech applications are expected to process as many as billions of transactions on a daily basis. Each of these needs to be carried out in a timely manner, which necessitates the need for concurrent data processes. This can be achieved through the use of cloud computing to help process the vast amounts of data, but there is also a need for concurrency at the software level. Some newer programming languages that are popular in fintech, such as Elixir, come with concurrency built into the language. This makes it possible for fintech providers to handle the enormous amounts of data required on a daily basis.
Fintech can encompass a wide variety of apps, from those that offer financial services themselves, to those that simply process data made available by other services. Whatever the case, many times fintech software will depend upon the integration of third-party services, usually through APIs. Ensuring the correctness of data, and the careful handling of exceptions is a must. Apps need to work with APIs flawlessly and rollback gracefully if ever a problem is encountered while interacting with outside services.
Fintech Data storage
Dealing with vast amounts of financial transactions comes with additional burdens. One such burden is the need for secure and reliable data storage services. Many providers of financial services are required to explicitly and meticulously document the services they provide for millions of customers on a regular basis.
The information stored by fintech providers is usually of a highly sensitive nature, and correct storage and handling procedures are often regulated. Data breaches can have severe consequences, both on a reputational and legal level.
Fintech Regulatory compliance
Fintech providers must comply with the relevant financial regulations in the countries they operate in. Since many fintech providers operate in multiple markets, the need to stay on top of multiple differing regulatory frameworks makes having well-structured and tested software a must.
Testing, testing, testing
All of the above concerns necessitate that fintech has rock-solid testing procedures in place. Tests need to cover a huge variety of applications, use cases, devices, scenarios and more.
It’s difficult to produce sufficient testing procedures at scale and at speed, which is why software testing plays a key role in software development and it is so difficult in fintech.
This has led companies down the path of integrating AI and machine learning into the E2E quality assurance testing process. Harnessing the power of machine learning allows companies to sift through massive reams of data to identify and evaluate what should be tested. Not only does this help focus the efforts of existing testers, but it can also help to identify unknown vulnerabilities, as well as being part of an overall strategy to make the software development process more cost-effective.
Regression testing and CD/CI
A strategy employed by many fintech companies is to implement regression testing and continuous delivery/continuous integration (CD/CI) into their development and testing methodology. These work in tandem to help keep development moving at a swift pace, while also making sure new features do not introduce bugs in existing code.
Regression testing is a method that uses a suite of tests that are run every time code is changed. A particular outcome to a piece of code should be expected, and tests are run each time code is modified to make sure that new code gives the expected output. Regression test suites can grow incredibly large and complex as the codebase matures, so automating the testing process is desirable.
Continuous delivery is very popular among fintech companies, and with good reason. This is a development methodology and toolchain that advocates for making small and frequent updates to the codebase. Each change is tested and, once it passes regression testing, is integrated into the live codebase. This process is also often automated, so that when changes are merged into the live code branch, they are automatically tested and deployed.
Fintech: Speed and security
It’s difficult to find the appropriate balance between developing quickly and securely. Time to market is hugely important when it comes to pushing out new features before the competition, but those changes have to be provably secure and reliable. That’s why many fintech companies are turning to Testing as a Service (TaaS) platforms to help identify, create and integrate software testing into their products so that they can focus on developing and delivering their product in a highly competitive market.
Fintech is an exciting industry with new technology being developed every day. This rapid development, combined with a need for rock-solid security, presents an interesting challenge for software testing in fintech. The very nature of fintech requires that software be developed to rigorous standards. The app marketplace is hard to ignore; sixty-three percent of adults use their phones for banking. These users create billions of transactions on a daily basis. Fintech software must be fast, reliable and secure. It’s difficult to produce sufficient testing procedures at scale and at speed, which is why software testing plays a key role in software development and it is so difficult in fintech.