Testing times

‘Testing’ is a word we’ve heard almost every day during the COVID-19 crisis but it’s, of course, not just exclusive to health.

Testing times

Anthony Walton is chief executive of Iliad Solutions

‘Testing’ is a word we’ve heard almost every day during the COVID-19 crisis but it’s, of course, not just exclusive to health.

Testing is vital in all aspects of life in order to create positive outcomes – no less so than in the payments infrastructure of our banks and building societies.

In this short blog I’d like to talk about the importance of ‘payments testing’ and the absolute necessity to get it right.

Payments testing – helping to prevent systems failure

Every bank and building society needs to rigorously test its digital, payments infrastructure.

Successful testing is key to the future well-being of every financial institution and those they serve.

Any payments system failure will have a catastrophic outcome as has been seen in multiple examples around the world – can a financial services brand ever recover from such an event and its negative impact on its customers?

No chief executive or management team wants to have a payments system failure on their watch.

The ‘right’ payments testing will help avoid a wide range of harmful situations.

Cutting corners will have damaging consequences

Tech teams in banks and building societies, with a desire to operate in the fintech space to meet customer expectation, must be quick to introduce new payments solutions, and when doing so, it may be tempting to cut corners in payments testing at the expense of quality and resilience.

To fix it later is often the only approach when confronted with an immoveable deadline, but if technical teams do this, then the shiny new payments scheme being introduced could be compromised.

Robust testing can fix this but only if a strong, resilient and automated test platform is accessible to the whole technical team.

If you’re tech people are relying on test simulators, which do not test the complete infrastructure end to end, then you’re heading for a problem. A major problem.

Testing is more important than ever before

If you can’t test accurately, you can’t deliver. Without a unified view of all the systems in the test, you are going to be slowed down, resulting in a desire to cut the aforementioned corners.

The result is that your test infrastructure will be brittle, less able to expand and less able to be re-used.

The desire for pace can build a bigger problem for the future. The answer to this is a change in the approach to launching new technology.

Where we are heading?

Some people in the industry are already gaining an advantage over their competitors by investing in payments testing platforms able to accommodate current standards such as ISO20022 and the anticipated micro changes expected to this bench mark in the future.

Those responsible for IT innovation in our banks and building societies must work with a test platform accessible globally 24/7, able to simulate every component of an infrastructure, and provide a true framework for success.

In a world where any outage, leading to the compromising of an institutions payments capability, has to be avoided - the reputational risk of cutting corners is now far too great.

Effective payment testing is crucial to the future well-being of both financial institution and customer.