2 months Opinion Pieces

Testing Times for Banks

In recent weeks, a spate of banking issues prompted disgruntled customers to vent their anger on social media causing headaches for several high street banks and a real risk of reputational damage.

Reliance on banking tech is huge

According to a variety of sources, the number of personal accounts in the UK has reached 73 million and business accounts sits at 4 million. The UK’s population has an incredible reliance on the banking industry and the technology it implements – a huge responsibility.  It’s also a trend that’s not likely to change.  According to Finder, by January 2022, over a quarter (27%) of British adults had opened an account with a digital-only bank; that’s around 14 million people with a total reliance on tech platforms to work 100% of the time. How customers access their data is also evolving. According to Global Business Outlook, approximately 78% of British adults will use mobile apps for transactions by 2023.

Don’t let your customers see red

At a time when people are keeping a close eye on their finances, banks cannot afford to make errors. People are monitoring their accounts more frequently to manage the impact of energy price hikes, soaring fuel costs and the hefty cost of living increases that are causing people across the country to feel the squeeze.  With widespread ‘can I afford it?’ concerns being felt, customers (and indeed businesses) everywhere are relying on their banks to provide a dependable service that offers instant access to their accounts and the funds held within them. 

Test to beat the rest

Testing is critical for resilience, functionality, and reputational protection; therefore it is essential that banks take steps to protect themselves against all eventualities. With technology spending set to climb to £13.01 ($17.66) billion in 2022, ROQ firmly believes that robust banking domain testing can take a very (pro)active part in that.

Performance, functionality, and security obviously need to be on-point for banks for operational effectiveness and productivity.  However, when we consider that statistics in the UK from Finder suggest that about 52% of customers have ill feelings towards their banks, high profile media coverage and negative feedback on social media from outages have the potential to do considerable reputational harm.

No trust, no loyalty  

The traditional and digital banks are duelling for clients. Offers of dynamic real-time services and even cash incentives are turning heads. So why just hand customers a reason to change with inconsistent services created by platforms that aren’t comprehensively tested? Switching accounts these days is reportedly straightforward.  A quick Google search returns over 3.7 million results on ‘how easy is it to change banks?’ with quotes of it taking between just two and seven days to complete and only minutes to apply for. 

The research, conducted by NewVoiceMedia, shows that 93% of respondents have switched business at least once in the last year because of poor customer service and a third of 16- to 24-year-olds will post online if they are unhappy with the service they are receiving.

The Financial Ombudsman Service Annual complaints data and insight 2020/21 reported some 170,648 new complaints about Banking and Credit.  A 66% increase on the previous year.  Obviously not all technology-related, but a clear indication that people expect superior levels of service as technology continues to evolve the way we handle personal and business finances, using digital options for handling everything from simple to complex transactions.

Customers trust their financial service provider and place confidence in their ability to manage their transactions securely. However, when systems fail customers will be vocal if they’re not happy. Therefore, it’s paramount that banks are always thinking about risk mitigation against brand damage and compensation issues to prevent their customer’s voting with their feet. 

Banking on a solution  

As a technology company, ROQ believes in data, not speculation and without all the details, nobody can comment on specific occurrences. We firmly believe in planning and being prepared. The shift-left approach to engaging early to deliver problem resolution isn’t just an approach to software testing – it’s can also be a solid approach to business.

ROQ delivers a comprehensive suite of testing services that supports today’s need for a rigorous test strategy to reduce risk. Our Performance Testing service is designed to eliminate potential weaknesses and create resilient systems, especially where varying demands on infrastructure can cause applications to behave differently. A system running smoothly with a few thousand users may present you with a critical business failure when scaled to a few hundred thousand. With a focus on stability and scalability of high demand applications, you can bank on our Performance Testing to get you there.

If you’d like to find out more about how ROQ can help mitigate risk and protect your bank’s business and brand, let’s create the opportunity to talk.  Email ask@roq.co.uk to discuss these approaches further and we can show you some examples of how other organisations have benefited from pre-emptive, shift-left testing. 


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