A Beginner's Guide to Mobile Banking Application Testing
According to Statista’s research, the number of individuals actively using mobile and online banking services is anticipated to reach approximately 2.5 billion by 2024, with the Asian market being the largest. For the majority of online banking users, banking apps are a constant companion, from transferring money and checking account balances to trading stocks.
However, since the banking app deals with sensitive information, it becomes the primary target for cybercriminal attacks. In this regard, it’s apparent that thorough testing plays an essential role in the banking app development cycle, where omissions or gaps are unacceptable. Thus, banks and financial institutions need to concentrate on the testing phase in order to eliminate data breaches, loss of funds, and other felonies.
This article will outline the key aspects of banking testing, including a checklist of strategies and best practices that help KMS Solutions perform mobile banking app testing more effectively.
Why is it Important to Test Mobile Banking Apps?
Since banking apps contain confidential information from users, they are especially susceptible to hacking:
- The Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center indicated that among 107 surveyed banking apps, 88% contained some known vulnerability. On average, each banking app was riddled with 55 security flaws.
- According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report, in 2021, banking industries suffered $5.72 million on average in losses directly related to data breaches from banking apps.
Obviously, financial software is a common target for hackers, and businesses that work in the banking sector need to be on the constant lookout for security threats. Testing the mobile banking app is worth considering since it allows the development team to foresee and proactively manage security and performance issues. Some benefits of banking app testing include:
- Complying with continuously changing regulations: Every year, there’re new and broadened certain norms, standards, and regulations imposed to ensure personal information protection and security. Compliance testing is compulsory for banking apps as a single violation of laws can lead to enormous penalties and operation suspension.
- Ensuring sensitive data is protected: When it comes to banking, there’s no margin for error. Data loss or leakage can be caused by defectively performing software or slow fraud detection. Thus, constantly testing the app can help identify and prevent potentially fraudulent actions immediately.
- Improving digital user experience and customer retention: People often have a low tolerance for flawed apps; this is especially true for banking-related products. Banking apps that have bugs or performance issues may decelerate or negatively influence users’ work and financial management. Thus, before releasing a product, thorough testing allows you to gain customer trust and strengthen your relationship with them via a stabler and smoother experience.
What Aspects Need to be Considered when Testing Banking Apps?
The specific nature of banking apps lies in complicated internal logic and structure that requires the development team to handle various features and ensure their users' security. Since error-prone products can severely affect the banks’ reputation, it's crucial to monitor the tool's performance, evaluate it against realistic benchmarks, and tweak it as needed.
To provide a high-quality banking app, there are significant aspects that QA specialists need to concentrate more on:
- Functionality: Besides some must-have features, banking apps are continuously updated, integrated with third-party financial products, and extended along with new technology-driven opportunities. Hence, the whole system, particularly the newly released modules, needs to work effectively to ensure a smooth customer experience.
- User interface and usability: Not all app users are tech-savvy - this is even more the case for older generations, who are getting used to transactions at branches. That’s why mobile UI testing is required to provide clean, user-friendly interfaces. In addition, paying more attention to usability testing is worth considering in providing an ease-of-use experience.
- Performance: On mobile devices, there are major concerns that can negatively affect user retention rates, including slow page loading and low responsiveness. Testers need to ensure the loading time is quick and works consistently on different operating systems and devices.
- Security: The objective of security testing is to make sure the apps are safe from the event of malicious cyberattacks by complying with industry standards for security and having additional safeguards in place. As data leaks in banking occur every year, testing needs to take place frequently to tighten app security.
Banking App Testing Strategy: A Quick Checklist
Innovative banking apps need to offer stability, security, and instant access with a single click. Therefore, developers and testers must execute various tests before launching or making any updates to the app.
It’s much simpler to proceed with a framework in mind, even a rough one, to estimate the overall budget, draw up precise timelines, or divide responsibilities among team members. You can use the checklist below as a skeleton to develop the QA strategy required for the app being tested.
✅ Identify and categorize requirements: the first stage of banking app testing consists of data gathering, demanding all requirements a testing session will access are documented in detail. Additionally, to design comprehensive test cases for banking apps, clarity is necessary. For ease and effectiveness, you can enumerate requirements by functionality modules - money transfer, account management, payment, investment, etc.
✅ Develop test cases: with well-defined requirements in hand, QA experts can start preparing test cases for banking apps. Since test suites need to be extensive, automation testing becomes a crucial component of the process.
QA managers or team leaders must classify test cases for automation and build custom scripts accordingly. Some particular features will require manual testing, in which case a sufficiently skilled team must be assigned. Moreover, test cases need to cover all aspects of apps.
✅ Functional testing: QA team must ensure the implemented functions of the mobile app, such as money transfers, account management, etc., are working properly.
✅ Database testing: The user database must be flawlessly accurate and regularly updated, while the system supporting these activities must be tested for robust, scrupulous operation. Standard testing modules include data types, data speed (loading and storage), predetermined functions, and more.
✅ Security testing: When creating test scenarios, banks must prioritize this step above all others. As previously mentioned, banking apps deal with the most sensitive customer data, which must be scrupulously protected against breaches, hacks, and other malicious attacks. As part of security testing, data encryption efficiency and user authentication are assessed. In addition, testers need to ensure potential data breaches or leaks are automatically reported.
Some standard features to be verified comprise:
- Are the authentication mechanisms such as User ID, Password, OTP, encrypted PINs, etc. working correctly?
- Are the "Forget Username" or "Forget Password" functions based on solid validation facilities to recover lost credentials?
- Are the password creation rules sophisticated enough?
- Is there a lack of client-side encryption for sensitive data?
- Does the app use the secured HTTPS protocol in the development environment?
✅ Cross-device testing: It’s essential to keep in mind that your banking app can be accessed through various mobile devices and operating systems. To make sure the app’s features are run as expected on multiple device-OS combinations, testing on real devices and operating systems is worth considering.
Kobiton’s real device testing platform allows you to perform all the needed gestures to test on a real device. By going beyond emulators, this testing solution provides banks with the most insight into the real customer experience and defines possible errors that may affect severely to their journey.
✅ Performance testing: This phase comprises evaluating page loading times, testing the app’s performance since the traffic load rises, and checking the product’s responsivity for distinct browsers and devices.
✅ Usability testing: All the cutting-edge features will be less critical when customers are unable to navigate the app with fluidity. So, the testing team should concentrate on the app’s prototype to understand user acceptance standards.
Sample Use Cases and Best Practices for Mobile Banking App Testing
As mobile banking apps generally have the same features, there’re common cases QA experts usually comprise in a test suite:
- Verify whether a user can log in using valid credentials: Check whether the app has a restoration mechanism in case customers fail to enter the data in the required fields.
- Make sure customers can perform transactions: The banking app must facilitate transactions between the users’ credit cards and between their accounts and another account.
- Verify that users can change passwords: A QA expert needs to guarantee that app users can securely adjust their login credentials. The development team should provide a safe way to save and update personal information.
- Ensure the account is temporarily blocked after multiple failed login attempts: Focus group has to test the app's security by blocking unauthorized access. However, they should consider the way to restore a blocked account in a fast yet non-compromising way.
Along with the widely-accepted standards and procedures, here are some best practices derived from various projects’ experiences, native and cross-platform, that can help banks not only ensure app quality at each stage of development but also save time.
1. Start with reviewing requirements and design
When receiving tasks for app development, your QA team should initially analyze the completeness, precision, and consistency of the requirements. By thoroughly understanding the banking app's logic, you can accelerate the testing process and minimize possible errors.
In parallel to the requirements review, it’s vital to concentrate on the app’s design to ensure that it encompasses all app states while preventing any inconsistencies between various platforms. Ensuring the consistency between requirements and design is worth considering.
2. Apply component test for new features
You can run detailed component tests, which are the same as model-based tests, in case a new feature is released. The test should be performed based on the previously written test cases and checklist to ensure all the entry points, as well as the interaction of the new feature with others, are working appropriately.
Mobile app security checklist
3. Use automation testing
Manual testing has become more time-consuming and ineffective since the banking app features and demand for security have constantly increased. For this reason, test automation is highly suggested for long-term projects, and banking apps typically belong to this kind. In addition, banking apps contain a number of complicated logic with repeated actions that are suitable for automated testing. For instance, to test regular payment processes with many required fields, you just need to design test scripts at the beginning and let them run automatically.
Test automation tools can ensure the quality and velocity of the testing, resulting in faster time-to-market of products. Some widely-used automated testing tools that help accelerate your testing performance and provide higher ROI can be named Selenium, Katalon, Appium, etc.
Learn more: How to Develop Automation Testing Strategy
Test your Banking App Effectively with the help of KMS Solutions
As cyberattacks are happening every day, error-prone apps may put customers of the banking system at risk and jeopardize their financial assets. Hence, thorough testing is compulsory for mobile banking apps since they handle enormous volumes of confidential data. Above all, banks and financial institutions need to make sure that app users can perform their financial activities safely and effectively.
If you’re looking for world-class testing services, KMS Solutions is the place to contact. With more than 12 years of experience in helping various leading companies in the BFSI sector move to automated testing, increase test coverage, and set up testing flows, we can help your business address the testing challenges effortlessly.