In any software development project, whether it follows Waterfall or Agile, there is always some level of quality assurance (QA) that is performed. QA is an umbrella term that is used to cover software testing, code review, and requirements review. Every industry needs QA as part of their software development process, and Fintech is no exception.
How Software QA Is Done
Quality assurance follows a standard flow. This process begins with business analysts gathering and confirming the requirements of the customer or the business. Based on the requirements, QA engineers draft a Test Plan. Once the customer approves it, QA specialists proceed with Test Scenarios and Test Scripts. These documents contain the specifics on what will be tested, and how it will be tested.
The next step is the actual testing process. Testing can be done manually or automatically, by the users or professional testers. If they detect any issues (also called bugs or, more formally, defects), testers share their findings with the development team who created the software. The developers work out those bugs and the change is sent back for testing, which is referred to as re-testing. The final step for the QA team is writing a test summary that contains the general test results and is provided to management.
Quality Assurance in Fintech
Fintech is a niche market of software, which has its own unique QA specific. Certain items have a higher priority for testing in Fintech than in other industries. The items that are higher on that list are security, integration, and data processing. The reason lies within the very nature of financial applications.
The fact that financial institutions manage personal and financial information of their clients drives the need for additional requirements. There is also the impact of federal regulations related to the protection of financial information that must be considered by a fintech software tester, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in the United States.
The general QA cycle includes requirements gathering, unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing. In the realm of fintech software, these areas of testing are still applicable.
Testing in Fintech
Once you get into the nuts and bolts of testing the software, bugs or issues may be discovered. The software testers and quality assurance analysts will test using the approved test scenarios and test scripts to review the processes, security, and data integrity of the software. There are various sorts of bugs or issues that may arise. In the fintech niche, there are certain things to look out for. Keep an eye out for these types of bugs or issues and write tests that look for them. Some examples are:
- Did any numbers transpose?
- Is there any missing data?
- Did all the data transfer to the other software that it needs to?
- Can a person who does not have the correct security to see information see it?
- Can a person see all the information they need to?
- Is the data updated instantly when you make a change?
- Can you access the information on a mobile app?
- Is the application user-friendly?
This list is by no means complete, we can continue to add to it for days to come. However, the goal of a QA effort is to make sure that the biggest bugs are caught prior to the software going out to customers and this is a great start. This is also referred to as the 80/20 or Pareto rule.
Role of the Business Owner in Quality Assurance
As the business owner of a fintech software application, you will be asked to play a role in the quality assurance process. The areas that you may be involved are key to the success:
- Approvals. During the planning of any testing, approvals are required. The approvals are typically for the Test Plan as well as the Test Scenarios (what processes are going to be tested). At the end of the testing process, you may be asked to sign off on the results.
- User acceptance testing (UAT). It is one of the final testing phases. This is where we bring in actual users of an application to test it out either using a written script or asking them to use the app as they normally do during the course of their work. You may be involved in this as a tester or as an advisor.
As the business or product owner, you have a keen interest in making sure that the bugs are eliminated from the application before it goes out to the customer. The QA process works to make sure these bugs or issues are discovered. But, we can do things to make sure that the process goes smoothly, and we catch these bugs or issues. And you, as the business owner, play a huge role in this.
Working in concert with the Quality Assurance team to create a test plan, test scenarios, test scripts, participating in user acceptance testing, and being present for review sessions with the project team we can safeguard the software from the biggest bugs or issues. In one of our fintech testing projects, the genuine involvement of the customer in the testing process helped the team to complete the task faster thus saving time and money.
The quality assurance process cannot find every bug or issue during the testing process. There is not enough time for that, and that is not the goal of the quality assurance process. The goal is to create confidence in the software prior to it being released. This allows the developers to find the root cause of the bug and fix it.
The confidence that the business or product owner has in the software is key to a successful quality assurance effort, which leads to the customer having confidence in the product. By concentrating on the biggest categories that are mentioned above and participating in the process from the planning on down to the user acceptance testing, a great software can be released