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What Makes Quality Engineering Critical for Credit Unions?

In the past few years, credit unions have relied heavily on new technology and digital channels to improve their members’ banking experience. The following is what makes the role of quality engineering so essential to their success.

Quality engineering for credit unions

Traditionally, credit unions operate in a non-profit capacity. So, they have not been as tech-savvy as commercial banks. However, in the past few years, credit unions have relied heavily on new technology and digital channels to improve their members’ banking experience.

Many new, tech-based challenges surface with the adoption of technology. So, with credit unions embracing new technologies, software quality assurance comes into the picture.

Below are some of the most common areas where quality assurance can help credit unions with service delivery:

1.     Integration of third-party software applications

The days of standalone software products are over. To meet the changing demands of members, credit unions find themselves needing to integrate multiple third-party applications. This is particularly true for digital banking solutions. Moreover, for efficient use of any software product, businesses need to continuously test the compatibility of their respective software applications with other third-party applications.

Credit unions also depend on numerous third-party applications, including payment gateway or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) like salesforce. They would not want their members to encounter an error while accessing any third-party application from their platforms. Therefore, it is crucial for credit unions to do an end-to-end validation for verifying the efficiency of third-party integrations.

Such end-to-end validations need to go through multiple and rigorous integration testing, functional testing, and performance testing processes. Not all businesses have experience with these quality assurance processes. For them, seeking help from seasoned technology assurance companies is the best move towards achieving quality and ensuring a great member experience..

2.     Server downtime/outages

Unlike the physical world, the digital world is connected 24/7. Such uninterrupted connectivity is one of the key advantages of migrating to digital solutions. In such a scenario, server downtime can result in failed transactions, delayed payments, and unplanned system outages, leading to a poor member experience.

Server outages can also significantly contribute to a loss of revenue or membership growth, particularly when the credit union’s loan origination or new member application is residing on the impacted server. To minimize the chances of outages, credit unions should conduct regular performance and load testing of their servers and applications. Many organizations plan their performance testing around new mergers and acquisitions, and while projecting future, organic member growth.

Performance and load testing require specialized experience and tools, which most credit unions may not have. In such cases, they can outsource these activities to experience quality assurance providers.

3.     Data security & cyber threats

As financial institutions, credit unions need to protect the sensitive and confidential data of their members. Moreover, the aspect of financial loss linked to cyber-attacks needs to be considered in credit unions’ data security strategies. It is critical for credit unions to identify and mitigate external and internal vulnerabilities.

With the advancement of technology, cyber threats have increased. According to a 2021 Black Kite report, 48% of Credit Unions and 58% of their vendors may have possible critical vulnerabilities due to out of date systems. Therefore, credit unions must conduct timely penetration testing and vulnerability testing on all their software applications.

4.     Regulatory compliance

Credit unions are not just any financial institution. They are held to equally high regulatory standards and requirements, including annual external audit examinations.

To operate successfully, credit unions need to comply with all regulations without fail. In addition, they need to validate that their systems are meeting all compliance requirements, whether they are home grown or obtained from a vendor.

Owing to several distinctions in regulatory compliances, employing traditional QA testing methods will not serve the purpose here. Credit union software systems must be tested against their respective API agreements using specialized quality engineering processes.

5.     Cloud-based credit solutions

Over the years, the perceived barriers to using cloud-hosted solutions have been significantly reduced. As a result, many sectors, including the financial sectors, have embraced cloud technology. Credit unions have actively started migrating their application stacks to the cloud, due to its greater agility and improved efficiency.

However, cloud technology is mostly implemented in the non-critical process and application. According to a 2020 IBM survey, even though 91% of financial institutions use cloud services, only 9% have implemented them for mission-critical operations.

For instance, many Credit Unions still have their core system, the backbone of their organization, hosted on-premises.  When Credit Unions do decide to migrate their core to the cloud, they must perform rigorous system integration testing on all of the applications connected to the core.

Moreover, achieving flawless cloud migration and implementation is a challenge in the finance sector, including credit unions. Most of these challenges can be reduced with a cloud testing process. If correctly done, cloud testing can ensure zero data loss while ensuring minimal operational disruption during the process.

6.     Effective AI implementation

Even though we are still somewhere between the Narrow AI and General AI stage, AI implementation has significantly eased business operations. Unlike other sectors, credit unions are still in their nascent when it comes implementation of AI. However, they are trying to catch up fast.

Whether it’s for credit unions or banks, it is important to remember that AI-implementation are not just limited to operations; it can also be used in the quality engineering process. AI-powered testing helps in eliminating the redundancy in the QA process while simultaneously ensuring higher productivity.

Takeaways:
Credit unions are rapidly evolving and progressing towards digitalization. To ensure that these software applications deliver an enhanced member experience, rigorous QA testing and an effective quality engineering strategy is essential.

Understandably, credit unions may not be well-equipped with the infrastructure and technical expertise for the task. So, leveraging the quality engineering experience of industry experts is the key here, because most of these software testing companies have the technical know-how to conduct robust end-to-end QA testing using their next-gen software testing services.

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