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News and research on financial software quality assurance and risk management

Testing case study – Ferratum

26 September 2016
How outsourcing integration testing helped online lender Ferratum launch into mobile.
Ferratum outsourced its integration testing for mobile

Caj Sjöman, head of mobile banking at Ferratum

According to Caj Sjöman, head of mobile banking at Ferratum, a digital bank that specialises in short-term loans to retail customers, testing mobile apps represents the single most significant challenge for the financial services industry.

Sjöman is responsible for developing the bank’s mobile app, compatible for both iOS and Android, and which lets customers open up a bank account without any paperwork and in five minutes. When Sjöman started working on a the project he quickly realised that testing process for mobile would be significantly more difficult than for a website.

Sjöman said that the large variety of different devices and browsers on the market make testing for mobile particularly difficult. According to research by consultants Capgemini, 48% of testing professionals across all industries said their firms do not have the right testing process in place for mobile

Ferratum’s head of mobile banking decided to turn to an outsourced testing service provider, a mobile testing company from Poland, for help. “They have a whole lab of devices, and had those year’s of experience that we were lacking,” said Sjöman. Working with mobile testing professionals helped his team at Ferratum realise the importance of thorough testing, which took up a third of the time of the whole app creation process, on par with product specification and development.

The results were good, but Ferratum ran into difficulties when trying to integrate different development strategies. Ferratum works in an agile way, so testing is conducted at every step. “Third-party services are used to working to a waterfall model,” said Sjöman, “which is fine for back-end development, but when it comes to consumer-facing applications working in an agile way it is absolutely crucial to deliver the best possible user experience.” The Ferratum head of mobile banking said that the problem was not insurmountable and for now they would continue to outsource.

User acceptance testing is another crucial element for building a high quality app, said Sjöman. Getting real feedback from customers is essential to avoid bad ratings on the app store.  Ferratum used focus groups to get feedback, literally inviting people off the street and asking them to open a bank account. Afterwards Ferratum representatives would interview them and get valuable feedback.

Good ratings, said Sjöman, are crucial, because a bank essentially deals in trust: “And a mobile bank has to create extra trust, because it comes with a question mark so we need to make sure it’s easy to use and that it is secure. That’s why we need to do this very thorough testing.” The job is not finished once the app is released – data is constantly being collected, and transactions are monitored to make sure they are going through end-to-end.

Ferratum's mobile bank currently operates in Germany, Sweden and Norway, and it plans to continue expanding in the near future.

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