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Banks are under increasing pressure to deliver exciting new features for their banking apps, without compromising their stability and reliability. Regression testing can help banks to achieve both these goals – and deliver a great customer experience.

Mobile banking apps are becoming the new normal

Mobile banking continues to proliferate and assert its position as the new primary channel for customers to manage their accounts.

For example, in the United Kingdom, it’s expected that smartphone banking apps will overtake internet banking, in terms of users, sometime this year. Industry analyst CACI said that 22 million people managed their current account on their smartphone last year – and this will rise to 35 million people by 2023 (72% of the UK adult population). Branch visits will drop to two a year, on average.

Mobile banking users in the USA are expected to grow from 133.5 million in 2014 to 161.6 million in 2020. Meanwhile, mobile transactions are expected to double by 2022.

Ease-of-use is crucial for today’s mobile banking apps

Mobile app ease-of-use and stability should be significant business concerns for any bank or financial service provider today. Customers expect to access their funds and core financial services instantly and easily, whenever they want – and will look for new providers if they experience disappointment.

Current account customers value ‘ease of use’ above any other factor; including interest rates, customer service, and trust – according to research by Crealogix. Respondents also said that ‘ease of use’ will lead them to recommend a mobile banking app to their friends and family – which helps explain the viral growth of challenger banks.

But the social media storms that surround challenger banks whenever a service outage occurs demonstrate that great UX and design are no use if an app is unreliable or unstable.

Security is also a significant concern. Challenger banks sometimes make the argument that mobile banking can be safer than online banking. However, more than half of people who don’t use mobile banking apps (56%) said that their reasons include a lack of trust in mobile app security, according to research by ING.

App downtime is also expensive. According to research by ITIC in over 80% of organizations one hour of downtime costs over $300,000. Also, nearly half (48%) of customers report that they’re likely to stop using an app if they’re unhappy with its performance.

Regression testing helps banking apps to stay secure and stable

To help them remain competitive, modern banks must have a stable and reliable app, regularly updated with exciting features.

However, any modification to an app’s code can potentially break a feature that might appear to be unrelated. For example, adding a geolocation module to a banking app could potentially result in authorization issues.

Fortunately, regression testing can help banks to balance these two competing forces, and regularly deliver new features, without compromising their app’s reliability and customer experience.

Regression tests explore the code to discover if any recent changes could have introduced bugs or broken functionality anywhere else within the app.

7 steps to execute regression testing:

  • Analyze any changes made and identify areas that could be affected.
  • Compile a suite of relevant regression test cases.
  • Run the first round of regression tests.
  • Report bugs, with detailed descriptions about how to reproduce each one.
  • Developers fix any reported bugs.
  • QA engineers should verify if the defect is fixed.
  • Run another round of regression testing.

Three rounds of regression testing are often required to address all bugs and stabilize an application. However, you could allow some minor bugs that don’t damage the functionality and will otherwise require a disproportionate amount of time to fix. QA engineers should discuss each unresolved bug with developers, to reach a decision.

Automation is crucial for efficient regression testing

Manual testing can be time-consuming and expensive – especially within a DevOps environment with a continuous delivery pipeline.

74% of all testing is for regression, according to SmartBear. Test automation is an excellent match for regression testing and can significantly improve an organization’s ability to push out regular updates for an app, without damaging its reliability and stability – which is crucial for modern banks that want to achieve and maintain competitiveness. An automated test platform is a fundamental tool for banks that want to improve their customer experience.

Are you part of a bank looking to optimize your Continuous Testing workflow?

Imagine you can reduce your software development lifecycle from months to hours, delivering quality apps to your customers as quickly as possible. Let’s talk, our expert advisors will show you how to save up to 60% on your app development budget.

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Alex Napier Holland

Tech Business Writer