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Customer Experience in Banking – Defining NeoBanking

Jill is a competent customer experience professional with decades of experience in the financial services field. She has recently been promoted to AVP - Customer Experience of the retail division at a large private corporate bank. Though she was excited about her new responsibilities, her KPIs involved resolving numerous customer experience challenges the bank was facing while serving its customers. 

The bank’s mobile and web applications’ customer ratings have not been consistently low and customers have been complaining about slow loading and frequent technical problems. Also, the organization was struggling to improve its NPS (Net Promoter Score). The bank’s retail growth strategy heavily included amping up customer experience measures as 81% of the companies compete mostly or completely based on CX. What should Jill do to meet the increasing expectations of retail banking customers?  

Jill plans to take a step-by-step approach to understand and address the challenges. Here’s what she finds: 

Customer Experience Challenges in Banking: 

Lack of personalized customer experience: 

It sometimes takes only one bad customer experience/interaction for a customer to switch accounts with a competitor. 48% of customers expect special treatment for being loyal customers. Jill’s bank has been trailing in this aspect. For example: when banking customers want an answer to a simple question like, “Am I eligible for a credit card?” Instead of getting a straightforward answer based on their credit information, they would get a whole self-service guide as a response.  

Providing a personalized experience is a major part of making customers feel special. When leveraged properly, advanced technologies can help banks offer a unique, personalized experience to customers, thereby giving them a competitive edge. 

Unsatisfactory resolutions to customer problems: 

One of the major aspects of the banking experience is a quick resolution to customer problems or queries. When not resolved correctly or on time, the interactions leave customers unsatisfied and unhappy. Moreover, customers’ issues in banking are not fundamental like in other B2C businesses, the issues are often complex.  
 

These partially resolved or unresolved queries leave a trail of backlogs that pile up over time. This is a major concern for many banks which deal with a heavy backlog of customer requests that needs individual attention, time, and resources 

Long waiting times  

Most banking customers expect a quick response to their requests and a long turnaround time only impacts customer acquisition and engagement metrics. Sometimes high demand and heavy workload may hide some requests that need responses from specialized departments or multiple business functions. Whatever the reason may be, every delayed service increases the Customer Effort Score which affects the experience. 

Disparate communication strategies  

Tech-savvy, evolved customers have higher customer service expectations across all your communication channels. Hence, catering to customers through any and every channel they use to contact you has become essential to banks. The customer service strategy cannot emphasize one channel of communication over another. For instance, Jill’s bank has an exceptional track record in handling customer queries in their physical/ retail branches, however, their mobile banking application has been receiving low ratings consistently due to bad customer service (or poor chat support).  

Lower customer retention rates 

We all know that retaining a loyal customer is a lot cheaper than acquiring a new one. Poor customer service, underperforming digital applications, not aligning your business to the customer’s banking needs and requirements, and not investing in predicting the forthcoming industry trends and customer demands can all lead to low customer retention rates. 

What did Jill do to overcome these challenges? Let’s find out... 

After learning about the challenges, Jill researched her bank’s competitors and the evolving banking services providers to find resolutions. She found out that of the 50 largest global banks, three out of four now pledge themselves to some form of customer-experience transformation. As 70% of customer interactions today include one or the other form of technologies, such as machine learning, chatbots, and mobile messaging, Jill decided to implement them.  

What Jill is experiencing is a common occurrence and Building a Customer Experience Assurance Framework is key with the below outcomes: 

  1. Improve customer effort score with products and services with real user app engagement analytics 

  2. Ensure bugs and technical glitches in the banking web and mobile applications are addressed to reduce the workload on the customer service personnel  

  3. Conduct a strategic evaluation and product assessment review including UI and UX experience KPIs, to evaluate inputs including improvement framework recommendations for the user journey 

  4. Build Customer Journey Analytics to de-clutter customer interactions for your most important transactions with them 

  5. Harness the power of AI and advanced analytics to predict evolving customer demands and retain them through loyalty programs and VIP journeys. 

  6. Deploy automation to decrease the workload on her team and enhance the accuracy of customer problem-solving 

  7. Deploy automation to decrease the workload on her team and enhance the accuracy of customer problem-solving 

To monitor customer intelligence on a continuous basis she worked with her Data & Analytics team to build Voice of Customer (VoC) Dashboards to track and identify the user stories customers are getting impacted by. This would help prioritize and address to improve the quality of Continuous customer experience. 

As the world’s leading Digital Quality Engineering company, QualityKiosk Technologies has worked with multiple Banking and Financial Services organizations to improve the effectiveness and quality of their Digital Customer Experience. To get a copy of our playbook and live demo of our Voice of Customer analytics platforms, and other use cases we have delivered in banking and financial services reach us at letsconnect@qualitykiosk.com

CTA:  

CX and Customer Voice-Based Testing Use Case 

Challenges Plaguing the eCommerce Industry and How QA Processes Can Help Overcome Them

Online shopping has witnessed tremendous growth over the last decade, and the last two years of the pandemic have worked as a catalyst for this digitalization phenomenon. Digitalization will continue to play a critical role as the global business ecosystem navigates through this new normal, surging eCommerce investments. In India alone, the eCommerce market is expected to grow to $74.8bn this year, as per GlobalData’s research. With millions of users accessing applications across different channels, website quality and customer experience are placed at the center of an organization’s success. It can be achieved by an effective eCommerce Testing approach.

The flipside of such accelerated adoption is competitive pressure, constantly changing customer expectations, and technological advancements. Even the smallest of shortcomings – a single frustrating journey, functionality failure, or a hang-up – could ruin the customer experience causing irreparable damage to the brand's reputation. Further, outages during high traffic periods or special sales days can put a serious dent into revenues.

eCommerce testing is particularly complex as it involves validating a variety of actions, personalizations, functionalities, and features. Creating a simulation for all of them is just impractical because of the number of predictions involved. One key challenge that our customers struggle with is conducting sanity checks of the production build, where most issues arise.

Types of Tests that can be Performed on Platforms and That No One is Addressing Yet?

To ensure that eCommerce websites and applications perform as per customer expectations and market-leading standards, end-to-end (E2E) testing is an important approach to mitigate any quality issue that eCommerce brands face. It is a methodology that includes testing an application or website workflow from start to finish. It validates the system by simulating a real user scenario to verify if the system is interacting with subsystems, UI (User Interface), API (Application Programming Interface), databases, and other applications as desired.

What Makes a Good eCommerce Platform?

eCommerce channels provide brands with an ideal position to build direct relationships with their customers, taking third-party entities and intermediaries out of the equation. An ideal eCommerce platform helps brands create lifetime value through great customer experience, innovative sales strategies, and consistent business growth. However, making a good, if not the best, eCommerce platform is where most brands struggle.

An ideal eCommerce platform is built on a standard checklist as mentioned below:

1. User Experience

User experience is currently seated at the topmost position in every market research as a game-changing differentiator, even above price. Customer-centricity and customer journey should drive any brand’s eCommerce strategy to generate revenue. If a brand fails to prioritize long-term customer value-creation, the business will succumb to cruel market competition.

2. Payments

Customers today have a ridiculous number of payment options starting from traditional debit and credit cards to payment wallets like PayTM, PhonePay, and GPay. Ensuring that the eCommerce platform is compatible with any and every payment gateway, providing a secure and reliable process plays a crucial role. Some of the successful and innovative brands today are integrating with Open Banks for instant financial services such as credit facilities, zero-cost EMIs, and other Pay Later options.

3. Super Apps

eCommerce sites and apps are moving past the niche approach they took. Customers don’t want to drain their device’s power by maintaining several applications. Brands are solving this pain point by launching ‘Super Apps,’ a one-stop application for every consumer need. Tata Neu App is the latest and the first Super App launched in India, which is expected to lead the trend in the years to come.

How Do We Go About Testing eCommerce Transactions and Build Customer Trust

Cart abandonment is one of the major challenges that eCommerce brands face. According to a research firm, the average abandonment rate stands at 77.13% across countries in 2019. Although this happens due to many reasons, primary factors include:

  1. Lack of trust to share card or e-wallet details
  2. Missing customer’s preferred payment mode
  3. Complicated checkout process

If the payment experience isn’t seamless, everything brands do till that point is wasted. Therefore, it is crucial that every user journey and use case is tested across channels – your business app, desktop site, and mobile site.

"With the software industry moving towards DevOps and CI/CD pipeline for release deployments, test automation will be integrated within the development pipeline as continuous testing."

At QualityKiosk, we provide E2E, SDLC-agnostic QA automation solutions, which include, but are not limited to, performance assurance, security, customer experience, and API testing. These solutions enable businesses to create a cross-collaborative environment that is efficient and promotes innovation. For instance, accommodation of dynamic content changes that eCommerce sites make, such as discounts and customized offers, to provide a competitive user experience.

Our solutions, along with domain repositories, ensure holistic, quick, and thorough automated and data-level testing cycles for a variety of builds and products, covering:

  1. Tests in the production stage to avoid major failures every single day
  2. Completely automated testing of third-party API integrations
  3. UI-UX testing to ensure high-quality user experience
  4. Quick testing turnaround time for faster deployment and reduced time to market
  5. Risk-based regression testing to safeguard critical parts from bugs
  6. Domain repositories and multi-industry experience to mitigate common failure points and risks

Tips for Ensuring Accurate Test Results

  1. Continuously watch out for any production issues and work closely with the operations team to understand the commonly performed transactions by users
  2. Keep refining the QA strategy in concurrence to the typical user journeys in production and accordingly prioritize the scope of testing
  3. Perform Crowd Testing to test the app from various locations and geographies for accurate detection of Pincode

Some of our clients that benefited from our QA automation at both the API call-chain level and the UI level include Tata Digital, AJIO, Tata CLiQ, Fabindia, Rebel Foods, Decathlon, and ITC.

What Role Do UX Designers Play in This Process

The design quality of the eCommerce platform, which includes clear microinteractions, appealing product presentation, strong branding, simple payment process, and logical transitions significantly influence a brand’s success. In essence, the UX designers define a human-first approach and catalyze conversion rates.

The UX designers should work closely with business experts offering intuitive navigation, and operational ease. They must also ensure that the images and content load quickly while testing the platform for compatibility across browsers and devices. Dynamic content changes highlighting customer personalization is an everyday task that the UX team needs to indulge.

Any Tech Developments That May Disrupt Our Industry

Java has been a de facto language for application development long before any other software development program. However, the newer and intense market demands led to the origins of software kits and no-code development platforms for faster application development. Flutter, Google's framework, is one UI SDK that I feel will disrupt the QA automation industry since QA’s progress hasn’t been at pace to support the apps developed on this open-source UI software development kit.

The Role of Test Automation and Predictions for the Next 3-5 Years

The global automation testing market is expected to increase to $49.9bn by 2026, according to a study by MarketsandMarkets, which is a one-of-its-kind growth in the software industry. Such a tremendous market expectation can be owed to the digital-first approach of businesses seeking high-quality applications. For eCommerce brands, manual testing will not be able to accommodate maximum testing coverage due to scalability issues.

Shift left testing is rapidly becoming a norm to avoid any critical or major defects during the deployment phase. The shift left strategy helps developers to test the code in the early stages of software development, which in turn, improves code quality. Automation frameworks like Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) are being widely adopted to trace and test every essential requirement, ensuring zero gaps.

With the software industry moving towards DevOps and CI/CD pipeline for release deployments, test automation will be integrated within the development pipeline as continuous testing. Therefore, testing will soon be done directly in the production environment to cater to rapid releases and increasing market pressure for quick releases.

About the Author:

Suraj Jadhav

LinkedIn IconAuthor: Suraj Jadhav

Suraj Jadhav is a Delivery Head, Emerging Verticals at QualityKiosk Technologies, a leading Quality Assurance firm. He is an expert on RPA and Test Automation solutions and CI/CD best practices, and has worked with global Automotive, Healthcare, Telecom, eCommerce clients. His primary areas of focus include ERP, Enterprise Datawarehouse, Cloud Adoption & Migration, Analytics & Business Intelligence, Mobile & Web Apps, AI & ML, RPA, Chatbots, and other evolving technologies. Suraj has a Post Graduate Diploma in e-Business from Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool), Mumbai.

To continue the discussion on the role of QA processes in dynamizing and increasing the agility of eCommerce businesses, contact the author at letsconnect@qualitykiosk.com

QualityKiosk Technologies Wins UiPath Industry Solution Partner of the Year for APJ

Mumbai (Maharashtra), India, <Month, Date, Year>: QualityKiosk Technologies was awarded the “Industry Solution Partner of the Year” for the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region at the UiPath 2021 Partner Awards. These awards recognize partners who demonstrate consistent innovation and collaboration leading to lasting, sustainable impact on their customers’ businesses.

Speaking about the feat, Mr. Maneesh Jhawar, CEO & Founder, QualityKiosk Technologies said, “We are delighted to receive the award and would like to thank UiPath for recognizing and honoring us. Automation has always been at the core of our business and a key point of focus for the organization. The recognition is a great encouragement for us to continue our exploration of leveraging automation creatively to help businesses boost their bottom lines. We look forward to continuing this momentum and collaborating with UiPath for building future-ready solutions.”

The UiPath Partner Program enables partners to gain a competitive advantage, to grow their business, and to increase profitability. UiPath is the industry’s only end-to-end automation platform and is designed to reshape the way humans work. The platform provides customers with a robust set of capabilities to discover automation opportunities and build, manage, run, engage, measure, and govern automations across departments within an organization. Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) based computer vision, UiPath software robots perform a vast array of actions as a human would when executing business processes. UiPath partners can help their customers accelerate innovation and advance digital transformation in the cloud or on premises.

“Our partners are an integral part of our growing global ecosystem. It is their constant efforts, technical investments, and superior knowledge in delivering automation solutions that are supporting our customers in their journey to become fully automated enterprises,” commented Anil Bhasin, Managing Director & Vice President, UiPath India and South Asia. “Our congratulations to Maneesh and the QualityKiosk team for their work and dedication to UiPath and our customers.”

About QualityKiosk:

QualityKiosk Technologies is one of the world’s largest Digital Quality Assurance partners and a pioneer in performance engineering for some of the biggest names in the banking and financial services, telecom, and automobile industries across the globe.

Founded in 2000 by IIT-Kanpur graduates, the company is a pioneer in digital performance engineering and offers a diverse set of quality assurance solutions including QA automation, performance assurance, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), synthetic monitoring, site reliability engineering (SRE), digital testing as a service (DTaaS), and data analytics solutions for an array of industries and verticals.  In the past, the company has been featured in various industry-leading reports by prestigious global advisory firms Forrester and Everest Group.

Visit https://www.qualitykiosk.com/ to know more about innovative quality assurance and performance engineering solutions.

Media Coverage:

QualityKiosk Technologies Wins UiPath Industry Solution Partner of the Year for APJ (aninews.in)

https://theprint.in/ani-press-releases/qualitykiosk-technologies-wins-uipath-industry-solution-partner-of-the-year-for-apj/915885/

UNI News (uniindia.com)

QualityKiosk Technologies Wins UiPath Industry Solution Partner of the Year for APJ - APN News (apnlive.com)

QualityKiosk Technologies Wins UiPath Industry Solution Partner of the Year for APJ - Articles (zee5.com)

Is APIfication the Fastest Route to Transformation of Banking Services?

Traditionally, banks have operated in closed environments, given the nature of their business and regulatory boundaries. The present digital economic ecosystem, globalization, and changing consumer demands are necessitating banks to be more agile, collaborative, and innovative to remain competitive. The visionary regulators and policymakers across the globe have perceived the need to build a digital ecosystem to encourage innovations and deliver services to customers.

APIfication interconnects multiple third-party applications and interfaces, data, and devices via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to build the digital ecosystem. While conventional banks use internal APIs, the new paradigm facilitates partner and public APIs to access the bank’s existing architecture, core business applications, back-office systems, and custom services to offer newer, better services and experiences for customers and partners.

Thus, APIfication enables banks to leverage existing IT assets, functional processes, and information more strategically. So, a quick answer to the above question would be ‘Yes.’ Banks can benefit immensely by embracing business partnerships through partner and public APIs.

Factors Influencing Banking APIfication

As discussed earlier, APIs give FinTech companies and third-party developers access to the banking system’s fully-functional digital business assets and distributed processes. Banking APIfication, therefore, demands a structural change in the system and collaboration between external API developers, digital-born fintech firms, and partners that drive the ecosystem.

“Consumer consent management and the security of data being shared would become crucial for the successful adoption of Open Finance.”

The move to partner and public APIs is, however, not easy as many large banks rely on complex legacy systems and internal APIs to provide financial services. Yet, they do understand that the multipurpose functionalities of APIs can be true enablers for business transformation.

Governments of many countries, including the US, the UK, Singapore, India, Japan, Australia, Philippines, Mexico, and the GCC countries, have already given green signals to move to open APIs, as banks continue to account for their financial stability and economic growth. Europe has implemented the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) mandate to streamline, regulate, and secure online payments and promote Open Banking.

In the US as well, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken the lead to facilitate Open Banking and thereby offer new and innovative financial products to consumers. With more than 62% of Americans using digital services over physical bank branches, APIs are making it easier for financial systems to securely meet consumer needs.

Most of the progress of Open Banking products and services this year will be around AIS (Account Information Service) and PIS (Payment Initiation Service) in MENA region as per 2022 MENA Open Banking Spotlight report.

India has already started reaping the benefits of such open digital ecosystem networks, which allow many applications and platforms to interconnect and interoperate seamlessly using open API protocols. Few such initiatives are India Stack, a set of Open APIs and digital public goods, observed a huge success of Unified Payment Interface (UPI). The recently launched Account Aggregator (AA) Framework (Being promoted by DigiSahamati Foundation) has enabled real-time financial information aggregation in one place across banks, tax authorities, insurers, securities, and pension funds.

Support for the API-first Approach

The 2020 McKinsey global survey estimated that 75% of banking APIs are used internally. But more than 100 banks globally have opened their APIs to third-party developers and FinTech partners to support building or orchestrating simplified financial solutions for budgeting, risk profiling, digital payments, lending, transferring, and so on. In India, activities such as banks' lending and onboarding clients for current account saving accounts (CASA), personal finance management (PFM) are being carried out in partnership with FinTech and big tech players such as Amazon, Flipkart, Ola, Groww, Neo Banks- Jupitor, Niyo, Fi, Razorpay, and Slice through Open-API integrations.

Banking APIs have massive potential due to their versatility and the ability to create new business models and value propositions.

As per the 2022 Mulesoft Connectivity Benchmark report (In partnership with Deloitte Digital), 40% of organizations’ revenue is now being generated by APIs and related implementations. About 26% of business leaders now demand a company-wide API strategy as APIs are helping organizations deliver value and revenue. Google Apigee is at the forefront of delivering Open Banking-compliant APIs to promote innovation, grow the partner-customer ecosystem at scale, and speed up secure financial communications. The API platform Postman has high-quality, readily usable Bank APIs and community support for simplified Open Finance services.

Challenges with Private, Partner, Public APIs, and the role of QA (Quality Assurance)

Driven by both the rise of neo banks/ ‘challenger' banks and the traditional banks’ desire to remain competitive by offering new digital experiences to increasingly connected customers, Apigee users in the financial services industry grew API traffic by more than 125% in 2020.

Technology leaders recognize API performance analytics (26%) and API security and governance (23%) capabilities as the most critical components of a successful API program.

The above research shows that API quality, scalability, and security are of utmost importance for the success of API-first digital programs. However, defining and executing an API-driven project is not easy.

I would like to quote an interesting case where we implemented a company-wide API Factory with microservices for a major Indian bank to enable digital lending and customer onboarding through FinTech firms and Neo Banks. As the bank had several legacy systems and complex integrations, we had to overcome three major challenges:

  1. Achieve qualitative, seamless user journeys via end-to-end API call chain that cuts across the onboarding partners, new microservices gateway integrations, existing ESB layer integrations, authentications, authorizations, and legacy core systems
  2. Scalability to reach the desired transactions per second
  3. Discover unknown issues of the entire journey proactively and know the root cause for quick remediation                

Our Quality Assurance approach helped the bank define a strategy for Shift-Left and Shift-Right testing, integrated with DevSecOps methodologies. The steps we followed included:

1. Setting up of Quality Engineering Practices for Design-First and Security-First API project, which included verification against the RESTful API Design Guidelines (API URL Naming Conventions, versioning, format, resource naming convention, Payload format, coverage of Error handling, Security Schemes - OAuth 2.0, OpenAPI Specification v2.0)

2. Implementing component level, individual API, and call-chain functional and non-functional testing, integrated with the CI pipeline        

3. Automating functional and non-functional testing to ensure that the software performs as designed and is secure

4. Establishing observability best practices with open tracing standards

The result was that we delivered a seamless customer experience through their journey across mobile devices, microservices, third-party integrations, and backend legacy systems. We also saw improved metrics such as 3X times early issue identification in SDLC, 90% automated test coverage, 10X faster test execution time per API, and 50% reduction in incidents owing to proactive monitoring and observability.

What does the future hold for open APIs

As an expansion of data sharing through APIs, the Open Banking journey will move towards Open Finance. Thus, Open Finance will drive the consent-based aggregation of the entire financial footprint of customers, and not just the banking data. This will lead to the democratization of credit, tailored financial services, and enhanced financial accessibility to consumers with access to more relevant data to industry players. Many FinTech players and financial institutions will also gain access to relevant consumer data. However, consumer consent management and the security of data being shared would become crucial for the successful adoption of Open Finance.

Banking and FinTech systems will be aligned with global compliance requirements to accommodate different API specifications, standards, and deployments to resolve integration, aggregation layer connectivity, and resolve complexity issues between banks and third-party interfaces.

In Summary

Banking APIs have massive potential due to their versatility and the ability to create new business models and value propositions. They allow banks to be agile and open doors to respond immediately to market opportunities. Hence, banks should focus on collaborating with third parties, FinTech companies, technology vendors, insurance partners, corporates, and other digital banks, and embedding API technologies cohesively in their future growth strategies to become competitive in the digital space.

About the Author:

 Vivek Porwal

 LinkedIn IconAuthor: Vivek Porwal

Vivek Porwal, Senior Vice President, Consulting and Banking Practice Head at QualityKiosk Technologies (QK), has two decades of experience in the BFSI segment in Consulting, Quality Assurance, and Auditing. He is currently responsible for Digital Transformation Consulting, especially for Digital Lending, Open Banking, Omnichannel, super-app engagements at QK. He also has rich consulting experience leading digital transformation projects on Digital Quality Engineering, Continuous Test Automation, RPA, API Banking, DevOps, and Agile methodologies. Vivek speaks regularly at several international forums on the global evolution of the banking sector. He was awarded the CA Professional Achiever Award – Information Technology Sector by ICAI in 2016.

To connect with Vivek Porwal, email to: letsconnect@qualitykiosk.com

HOW TO SHIFT FROM REACTIVE TO PROACTIVE IT MANAGEMENT WITH FULL STACK OBSERVABILITY?

The myriad of business challenges introduced by the pandemic has triggered an exponential rise in digital transformation across the globe. It’s no surprise that estimates predict 65% of the world’s GDP to be digitized by the end of 2022 with digital transformation investments slated to reach US$ 6.8 trillion by the end of 2023. However, the aggressive expansion of IT estate comes with its own sets of challenges. With applications now depending on interactions between containerized services hosted on multiple clouds, the volume of devices and networks to manage and monitor is increasing.  

In addition to this, the need for early detection and fixing of critical errors has become more important than ever with infrastructural failures costing organizations up to US$ 100,000 per hour. Consequentially, organizations depending on traditional reactive-first monitoring solutions are at a growing risk of incurring monetary and reputational losses.  

Let’s take a closer look at why the firefighting model for IT monitoring and management is not enough anymore: 

Firefighting: IT Monitoring and Management in the Current Scenario 

The recent surge in digital transformation to ensure business continuity has led to most organizations shifting to multi-cloud architectures to scale their operations and improve the resiliency of their operations. In fact, in a recent CIO survey, 66% of the participants said that they use at least two public clouds in their organization. The growing IT complexity and increasing volumes of data and devices in the digital ecosystem have led to organizations adopting quick and ineffective measures.  

Some of the key challenges that have arisen due to this are: 

Siloed Monitoring Tools 

To ensure coverage of all components, most organizations have switched to using a profusion of IT monitoring tools in siloes. However, the siloed approach is inefficient and leads to constant tool hopping and context shifting making it difficult for organizations to identify the root cause of an incident. This, in turn, leads to a delay in resolving incidents. The siloed monitoring approach also restricts businesses from mapping IT performance to business outcomes and restricts cross-team collaboration.  

Reduced Developer Productivity 

Siloed and traditional monitoring approaches are forcing organizations to adopt a firefighting approach towards IT management. This, in turn, is leading to developers spending more time in war rooms trying to detect and fix critical incidents rather than focusing on the innovation. Statistically, 66% of IT professionals feel that the growing complexity of IT management has introduced new challenges to their current job. 

Increasing Costs 

Growing investments in diverse IT monitoring solutions with a low ROI eat into the organization’s profitability. Besides this, the inefficiency of siloed monitoring also delays the identification of critical defects and can lead to unplanned downtime costing businesses their customers’ trust and millions in revenue.  

Increased Risk of Application Failure 

Under the traditional IT monitoring setup, organizations identify and monitor predefined areas that are expected to be problematic leaving out parts of the estate that can cause issues in the future. Moreover, monitoring only flags errors without providing the context as to why they occurred. Due to these reasons, businesses dependent on IT monitoring are at an increased risk of application failure as IT complexity soars to new heights. Not only can this hamper application performance but it can also impair customer experiences. 

Increased Threat to Security 

With technology stacks becoming more complex and extensive, security threats are becoming difficult to identify making applications more vulnerable to cyberattacks that can lead to monetary and reputational losses. 

Observability: IT Management of the Future 

With digital transformation projects expected to be executed at 3x faster speeds, traditional IT monitoring is no more enough to ensure the security and operability of the complex IT estate. Organizations, today, require an integrated and centralized solution that serves as a single source of truth for all IT monitoring and management needs. Full-stack observability enables businesses to do just that by providing real-time visibility into their entire IT estate. The technology leverages telemetry data (logs, events, trace data, and metrics) from the different components of the IT estate to provide in-depth visibility into the health, performance, and behavior of their entire IT ecosystem.  

Why Full-Stack Observability is the Need of the Hour? 

With digital transformation becoming a norm, digital resilience is emerging as the next differentiator for success. To thrive in the fast-changing digital landscape, businesses need to innovate at pace and scale while managing their complex IT estates. Full-stack observability simplifies IT estate management to enable businesses to focus on innovating at pace and scale. 

Here’s how full-stack observability streamlines the management of complex IT estates: 

End-to-End Visibility of the IT Ecosystem 

Full-stack observability provides a holistic view of the entire IT ecosystem including third-party dependencies to help businesses proactively identify blind spots and gain a better understanding of its performance and health. 

Enhance Cross-Team Collaboration 

By integrating the various aspects of the IT estate in a single place, full-stack observability enables teams to seamlessly align towards common goals and boosts organizational productivity.  

Reduce Incident Resolution Time 

Full-stack observability breaks down operational siloes to provide a clear view of the dependencies among different IT estate components. This reduces MTTI/MTTR and prevents application outages.   

Deliver Enhanced Customer and Employee Experiences 

With full-stack observability, IT teams can accurately estimate the adverse impact of issues on user experiences. By doing so, they can identify and resolve critical issues that can disrupt customer experiences to maximize customer and employee satisfaction.  

Proactive Fault-Finding 

Full-stack observability gives businesses the ability to proactively find and diagnose faults with the help of cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) before they can impact the performance and end-user experience. 

Maximize Revenue with Tech and Business Synergy 

Full-stack observability allows enterprises to correlate IT performance with business outcomes enabling them to optimize technology investments for maximum profitability. 

Improved Security 

With full-stack observability, application operations and security teams can collaborate to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities that could otherwise hamper business bottom line and reputation. 

To know more about full-stack observability and its use cases, tune into an insightful webinar on Full-Stack Observability Solutions for Digital Businesses

Automation Backed Lending: The Future

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a paradigm shift in the way the lending industry operates and interacts with the customers. While the initial phases of the pandemic saw lenders shift to digital channels to ensure business continuity, the next phase of consolidation will require lenders to optimize their digital lending value chains. With digital lending gradually becoming the new norm in the post-pandemic normal, enhanced digitization will not be enough to thrive in the evolving landscape. Customer lending journeys, operational efficiencies, and risk management will be the key factors to unlocking new opportunities and thriving in the competitive lending marketspace. 

Let’s take a closer look at how the three factors are shaping the future of the lending industry: 

Evolving Customer Expectations 

In the age of instant gratification, customers expect faster turnaround times, increased transparency, and greater personalization of services. According to recent research, 70% of customers consider digital experiences and journeys as the most important factor in choosing their financial service provider. Traditional Lenders will need to meet and exceed customer expectations to enhance acquisition and retention rates to compete with new-age digital lending players.    

Need for Speed and Efficiency 

With customers expecting faster processing times, operational efficiency has become paramount to thrive in the competitive market. Dependency on manual repetitive tasks in the digital lending value chain can lengthen loan processing times, create room for error, and impair customer services to impact a financial service provider’s bottom line.  

Effective Risk Management 

The economic uncertainties induced by the pandemic have caused an increase in the volume of and hurt the lending appetite of creditors. With COVID-19 extending into a second year, lenders are under pressure to find the right balance between managing risk and ensuring profitability.  

Automation offers an efficient and cost-effective solution for lenders to meet the objectives of improving operational efficiencies, crafting seamless lending journeys, and intelligently managing risk. By integrating automation at each stage of the digital lending value chain, creditors can streamline end-to-end loan management for greater profitability.    

The Future of Lending is Automation Backed 

Automation has been at the core of the digital transformation wave in recent years across different industries. Lending, like other industries, can leverage the technology to improve and accelerate decision making, cut down on costs, ensure compliance, and counter fraud.  

Here’s how automation can help lenders at each stage of loan management:  

Pre-Screening 

Automation can be leveraged for pre-screening applicants right at the beginning of the loan origination cycle. Pre-qualification is a menial but repetitive task involving the analysis of readily-available financial information such as the prospective borrower’s income, identity, and financial stability. With automation, financial institutions could pre-screen applicants by collating this information and analyzing if the applicant meets their lending policies and criteria. By doing so, financial institutions can save immense time by weeding out applicants that do not meet the criteria and focusing resources on qualified borrowers. The use of automation at this phase also enables financial institutions to provide in-principle credit decisions in minutes and meet the increasing demand for faster loan processing.  

Loan Application 

After pre-screening, applicants are required to fill out a loan application form and provide a set of necessary documents for KYC and identity verification. Automation at this stage enables standardized information collection through web portals and online forms to ensure that prospective borrowers provide all the necessary documentation required for loan processing. The use of automation at this stage eliminates the need for loan officers to review applications or check them for completeness and enable them to focus their time on complex tasks. Additionally, automation enhances customer communication by enabling lenders to automate notifying borrowers about pending documentation and loan application status.  

Loan Processing and Underwriting 

Loan underwriting involves verifying borrowers’ information and ascertaining their creditworthiness. The process requires underwriters to analyze a slew of financial data such as credit reports, income tax statements, and debt-to-income ratios. While the process is complex and requires expert oversight from expert underwriters, a lot of the steps involved in the process are repetitive and can be automated. By simply comparing the various parameters of creditworthiness to a lender’s requirements for qualifications, automation helps underwriters quickly identify discrepancies and red flags that can disqualify a borrower and ask for further clarification. Besides this, automating manual repetitive tasks enables financial institutions to ensure all mandatory processes are followed and the necessary compliance is met.  

Loan Disbursal and Customer Onboarding 

Once a loan is approved, the borrower is required to be onboarded to the financial institution’s core system before it could be disbursed. Onboarding is an operations-heavy process that requires creditors to screen applicants against national and international terrorist and enterprise watch lists to ensure anti-money laundering and know your customer compliances. Automation can be leveraged to streamline onboarding processes and ensure compliance with intelligent workflows designed keeping the national and international regulations in mind.  

Loan Servicing & Payment Collection 

Loan servicing and payments collection can be tricky and complicated for lenders. With customers demanding more loan restructuring than ever before, loan servicing teams need to be vigilant to manage loan restructuring requests, forbearance, and delinquencies. Automated digital workflows can enable lenders to manage loan modification requests and collect payments quickly and efficiently. In addition to this, automation can be used to identify delinquencies prior to their occurrence and segregation of priority accounts for payments collection. Through automated-driven processes, lenders can maximize loss mitigation and deliver enhanced customer experiences in the post-disbursal period.   

It is clear that automation will be a key differentiator in the lending ecosystem of the future and will enable financial institutions to speed loan processing, improve process accuracy, meet evolving compliances, and improve overall profitability. It is crucial for lenders to identify and automate processes that are well suited to automation to gain a competitive edge in the lending marketspace.   

QualityKiosk: Enabling the Digital Lending of the Future 

QualityKiosk is a leader in robotic process automation (RPA) and has helped numerous financial institutions across the globe digitize and automate their lending value chains for enhanced operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction. Our strong domain expertise combined with our agile-first methodologies has helped financial service providers to reduce loan processing and disbursal times up to 73%. With extensive experience in automation, we are one of the leading companies that empower financial organizations to identify and automate different aspects of their lending value chain based on their business objectives.  

Are you looking to integrate automation into your loan management? Book a consultation with us to know more about our customized RPA solutions for lenders.  

Top Testing Services Company by GoodFirms

 

QualityKiosk Technologies Is Gaining A Lot of Traction at GoodFirms for Delivering Software Testing Services

QualityKiosk Technologies is experienced in offering testing services to various companies. Their right approach and inordinate expertise in the firm have made them shine at GoodFirms as the top testing companies. Given below is the detail about the company and its services.

 

QualityKiosk Technologies Introduction

Founded in 2000, QualityKiosk Technologies is a testing services firm located in Mumbai, India, with another office in Indonesia. With intelligent services and keeping clients' business in mind, the firm offers value-oriented services to clients worldwide. In the business for two decades, QualityKiosk Technologies has been delivering exemplary services with an engineered approach.

The firm's exposure to various tools and technologies has made them a reliable firm offering testing services, big data, DevOps, business automation, and various other services to help clients grow their business. The company has worked with multiple industries to provide innovative solutions. Over the years, QualityKiosk Technologies has worked with financial services, banking, insurance sectors, travel, and telecom sectors.

The firm adopts new technologies and trends to offer leading solutions and to ensure that the clients receive the best services they keep clients' satisfaction in the utmost priority. QualityKiosk Technologies has a global clientele in around 25+ countries with 100% client reference records.

 

GoodFirms Research Process

GoodFirms is an online forum for analysis and evaluation that ranks and lists different businesses on the website. The companies ranked on the website are evaluated on Quality, Reliability, and Ability parameters after doing extensive research. This helps clients hire a reliable partner.

Similarly, GoodFirms evaluated QualityKiosk Technologies on the same parameters, and it was inferred that they had been continuously serving companies with premium quality services.

 

Testing Services

QualityKiosk Technologies is helping businesses improve by delivering the right services. The company offers testing services to various industries and ensures that they provide bug-free services to clients. The company's strength lies in its knowledge and zeal to provide excellent customer service. With a systematic approach and proper understanding of their field, they offer services with precision.

The company focuses on making clients shine in the market, the firm goes beyond expectations to deliver the right services. With expertise, conviction and precision, they have till now offered services for a variety of clients. The team of experts knows the strengths and weaknesses to solve complex problems and deliver assured quality services. Therefore, ensuring the highest quality of services, QualityKiosk Technologies is listed as one of the top software testing companies in Indonesia at GoodFirms.

 

Big Data Services

Big data is the future of business because it helps to create strategies and perform day-to-day activities more efficiently. QualityKiosk Technologies understands all forms of data and helps companies devise strategies accordingly. To assist clients in outperforming big data has given ample opportunities for companies to shine among peers. QualityKiosk Technologies is helping businesses in making informed decisions with big data by analyzing insights.

The learned data scientists and team enthusiasts improve business functions by focusing on highly scalable big data solutions. Plus, the company also focuses equally on maintaining a healthy relationship with the client, which has helped them make a record of zero defects firm—driven by professionalism and commitment to offer result-oriented big data services. The company has served a global clientele that includes many renowned companies. Therefore, for delivering expert services by keeping in mind the customers' needs, GoodFirms spotlights QualityKiosk Technologies as one of the top big data analytics companies at GoodFirms.

 

DevOps Services

QualityKiosk Technologies excels equally in offering DevOps services that can assist companies in maximizing their business efficiency. By using modern tools and technologies, they improve business processes. The team has a knack for understanding the technicalities and latest tools to deliver solutions that can ultimately lead to increased business profitability.

The company focuses on improving business by delivering quality DevOps services that optimize the entire business and improve speed and stability. To ensure seamless assimilation of  development and operations together, the team QualityKiosk Technologies offers end-to-end solutions to various niches. Due to their work and commitment to providing such quality services, QualityKiosk Technologies earns a spot as one of the top DevOps consulting services in Indonesia at GoodFirms.

 

About GoodFirms

Washington, D.C. based GoodFirms is an innovative B2B Research and Reviews Company that extensively combs the market to find top Testing Services, Big data, and DevOps Services firms that offer the best services to its customers. GoodFirms' extensive research processes help rank the companies, boost their online reputation and help service seekers pick the right technology partner that meets their business needs.

 

About the Author

Anna Stark is a staff writer with GoodFirms – a Washington D.C. based B2B Research Company that bridges the gap between service seekers and service providers. Anna's current role includes gauging companies’ performances and their key attributes and putting them into words. She firmly believes in the magic of words and is always on the lookout for new strategies and ideas that companies have gladly embraced, and then helps them shine a light on those to make their identities shine brighter.

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Shift Left with Service Virtualization

In the world full of technological changes and disruption, speed to market is crucial for companies. Today, service virtualization is a buzz word because it enables QA and development teams faster and easy access to desirable test environment anywhere and anytime. Implementing service virtualization removes the need of setting the environment, enabling teams to deliver quality product on time.

Service virtualization’s capability to shift left the testing process is widely acknowledged in the software testing industry. With a simulated test environment, you can eliminate constraints delaying the testing of crucial aspects, thereby ensuring early testing. It definitely yields significant benefits in the form of accelerating the time to market, reducing the risk and curbing down the cost associated with setting up the testing environment.

So, what do you mean by ‘Shift Left’?

Shift left testing is nothing, but the integration of testing activities with development, commencing sooner in the SDLC, unlike the traditional testing methods. You simply move left to the left in the project lifecycle. The aim of service virtualization is to compress the defect curve and deliver quality products to the end-users.

Here are a few reasons why shift left with service virtualization will create ripples and will bring about a landmark change in the testing and development procedure.

Reduction in the cost of testing and development

Bugs and errors are cheaper when caught young. The older they grow, the more and money they consume. When testing is done with every build, detecting errors is simple and the bugs found are smaller and easier to tackle with. It eliminates the tremendous cost and unnecessary hard-work to re-doing things again and again. According to a survey, companies implementing service virtualization have witnessed a 67% reduction in the overall cost.

Provides a competitive edge

‘Shift Left’ will give your team competitive edge by speeding up the time to market. It rightfully accelerates the entire SDLC by increasing the speed of development without compromising on the quality. Furthermore, service virtualization allows studying of behavior of connected components in a demo environment, instead of the live one, thereby saving a lot of time. With the rising competition rushing the product out of the door is key to entice the end-users.

Increased level of automation

With ‘shift left’ you can easily increase the level of automation, which will reduce the potential human errors and increase the test coverage by running more test cases at the same time. Furthermore, it will curb the issues resulting due to issues during the production. It will increase the scope of automated testing because testers do not have wait for the configuration.

Enhances efficiency

Shift left with service virtualization enables monitoring the performance over time, focus on code quality check, frees up time for testers to focus on more challenging and rewarding task. Furthermore, with service virtualization, you can focus on built-in security checks.

Reduction in the burden developers

With the virtual assets available allows the developers to test their own data set to use. It empowers the developers to perform better and more comprehensive task before releasing the software to the test environment.

The biggest advantage of using service virtualization is the reduction in time to complete one test cycle – from five to six weeks to 2-3 days.

Future of service virtualization

With digital and instant gratification on a rise, the new mantra for IT companies is providing flexible and scalable solutions. In traditional testing, once the components were deployed, future testing was impossible. This was especially true for XML, HTML pages and database components. Storing duplicate copies of the deployed components is a costly affair. Virtualization will help you overcome these roadblocks and will facilitate testing along with project management.

Shift left is more than a process change – it will bring a cultural shift in the testing methodologies.

Preparing for Born Digital Future

Improving Quality of life is a value each of one us carries, and Digital technologies are one, if not the most fundamental drivers of this change in current era. Our team at QualityKiosk has for the past two decades prioritised efforts to enable Digital Quality Engineering, as we pave way for a Born Digital Future.

 

Whether we are buying a home, a car, a mobile or food, one thing we expect in every interaction is Quality and Digital apps are no different. How do you maintain Quality of Experience on Digital Apps which need to work Anytime, Anywhere and on Any device in a fast paced world? An average user spends 4 hours per day on various Digital Apps, it is the job of Quality Engineering teams to see that those 4 hours go glitch free.

 

Further as the touch points expand, digital is no longer just another channel, but becomes the platform around which online and offline world’s converge for a user to create a Omni-channel experience. This is the stage at which the rise of the ‘Born Digital entities’ takes place. It is predicated that in the future there will be a ‘Digital twin’ – a virtual replica of the physical entities including people, organisations, places etc that will seamlessly interface across the divide of real and the ‘digital reality’. You are already experiencing some aspects of this through Virtual Reality and digital assistants.

 

To manage a Born Digital entity we need a Digital Workforce. A workforce where Human associates and software robot associates work together. We at QualityKiosk have been pioneering the use of Robotic Automation and Artificial Intelligence to deliver Digital Quality Engineering at Speed, Scale and Securely.

 

There is little bit of QualityKiosk in your everyday life. Whether you are booking a flight, paying for your coffee through a digital wallet, or simply connecting with your friends through social channels, we have 1500+ Human and Software Robot associates who work in the background to enable this digital life that we are experiencing. Our clients are our partners in delivering this transformation.

 

We are excited to work with our partners across the globe on Digital Transformation projects including using our Data Science Lab for performance, automation and Quality engineering practices. In the Indian context while agile approaches are being adopted, the transformation is mostly being run through specific programs, with the front-runner being Intelligent Business Automation.

 

Digital Transformation: Let’s get the Fundamentals in place.

In current era where business cycles are rapidly transforming, and digitisation being a common denominator the variable’s for success that we convey to our clients are more and more becoming acutely tied to their Business sustainability plans and not limited to operational metrics in routine.

 

Within just one of our verticals – BFSI, With 9 out of top 10 private banks that we consistently work with in India alone, we have realised that Business Imperative’s have become more decisively a technology directive that we need to fulfil to ensure our clients and there customer success. With Digital platforms and programs becoming waypoint’s for most organisations on their journey towards digital transformation, one thing is clear, no single path exists that will meet every institutions needs.

 

In fact, in most cases we have observed the choice is not in digital transformation itself but the degree or extent of risk that organisations are willing to take to take the journey. Startups and ecommerce platforms represent one skew of the platform with a higher risk appetite and at the other end traditional organisations and industries are scaling steps towards digitisation through events themed like devops, automation and Customer experience programs.

 

Where is the balance? there is probably none and that probably speaks a lot about the conundrum that many sectors face in the next few years with the decisions they have to make. In our view their will be only two best cases of sustainable business’s: born digital or re-born digital organisations.

 

With our Global clients, Digital Transformation is a organisational wide phenomenon where the business fundamentals are also being looked at and deployments are broken into agile sprints. In the Indian context while agile approaches are being adopted, the transformation is mostly being run through specific programs, with the obvious front-runner being Automation. In both cases the natural progression observed has been from Digitisation, to digital optimization to digital business.

 

A key driver for lot of consumer products and services organisations, like financial services, besides sustainable future ready business footprint, is customer experience. It is evident that experience is no longer just a differentiator but something that defines the business itself and is disrupting business models and created impending risk for the traditional organisations.

 

One of the valuable lessons we have learnt through deep engagement cycle for digital transformation programs is that creating Frameworks around key variables is critical to improve predictability of success. With no clear paths available these frameworks act as guidance maps for enabling right future outcomes and right-sizing of goals from the outset.

 

For example, our Data science lab, advises clients to ensure a day zero data governance and data repository framework. As the use cases for analytics change the fundamentals around data will not, and framework for the same protects client interest in the long term. Further, Most Independent studies predict that almost 90% of organisations will be moving to hybrid cloud infrastructure by 2020. So this affects the fundamental’s of any frameworks will build and design for our clients as we have a lesser risk of adoption. With the data logistics managed upfront, an organisations ability to mature any machine learning or artificial intelligence based decision analytics has a higher success ratio. With the fundamental premise of the framework in place, future agile adoption of technologies and use cases is possible and helps.

 

Another good example for creating predictable outcomes through robust frameworks is observed by us in banking. Globally ‘Open banking’ norms are being adopted and this is not restricted to compliance but also better business practices where the underlying customer adoption cycle is being shifted to a more on demand distributed architecture where banks and financial services organisations will have to serve the outcomes there clients desire at there convenience of platforms. In india we already have a multitude of partnerships between licensed banks and ecommerce players like amazon, flipkart etc and also social platforms like whatsapp and facebook to seamlessly integrate a customer acquisition journey’s. In fact the reverse is also happening where the born digital platforms are taking a bite into the traditional banking transactions through micro-lending and digital wallet platforms they have setup. Amazon has applied for Insurance license and flipkart is predicting there lending products platform will account for 20% of there business.

 

Adopting a more holistic approach by investing in broader programs to re-invent, re-engineer and re-imagine business processes using the most appropriate technology adoption curve for business success is the best case scenario for any organisation.

 

 

What makes quality assurance (QA) essential in a banking blockchain

"Even as the acceptance of blockchain as a reliable technology widens in the banking sector, software quality assurance will be a must to ensure these projects succeed"

 

Perceived to be used only for the trading of cryptocurrencies initially, the decentralised electronic ledger technology, popularly known as blockchain, is being employed for multiple purposes by organisations world-over. From insurers (and hospitals) sharing patient health records to consumers sharing excess electricity with each other and with the power grid, to the casting of votes in an election—blockchain offers limitless possibilities to transferring information (or money) securely and transparently.

According to a report published by Grand View Research, the global blockchain technology market is predicted to touch $7.59 billion by 2024, growing by 37.2% year-on-year. The industries driving growth in adoption of blockchain technology include banking and financial services, consumer or industrial products companies, information technology, media and telecom, healthcare, transportation, and public sector undertakings. As per a study conducted by 6Wresearch, India’s blockchain technology market is predicted to grow by 58 per cent annually from 2018 to 2024.

 

Blockchain in banking

One of the key sectors that can leverage blockchain technology to its fullest advantage is banking. According to a study by Juniper Research, blockchain deployments will help banks realise savings on cross-border settlement transactions of more than $27 billion by the end of 2030.

While multiple use cases are available in banking, as per a Reserve Bank of India report by the Working Group on FinTech and Digital Banking, the banks in India are permitted to set up permissioned blockchains for centralized KYC, cross-border payments, Trade finance and syndication of loans, besides for their internal purposes.

Starting with ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank and Axis Bank in 2016, more and more banks are looking at examining blockchain’s potential. Given this scenario, as a technology, blockchain is here to stay. For example, in an industry-wide private blockchain deployment, multiple banks can be the participating members. Using such a network, customer KYC documents can be safely shared with each other for cross-validation and to avoid duplication of document processing. Similarly, a blockchain network can be deployed at a global level with participating member banks using it for executing cross-border payment transactions securely. Quality assurance (QA) testing becomes essential in each of these applications of blockchain to ensure that the technology works smoothly delivering the desired benefits.

 

Industry-wide blockchain

Consider centralised KYC as a hypothetical use case example to examine the role played by QA. In an industry-wide permissioned blockchain in which several banks are participants, the process begins with a bank registering itself as a participant. Upon registration, it starts onboarding its customers by uploading their KYC documents to the blockchain network. This data gets converted from images to Hex format at the blockchain level. The bank also whitelists a few other banks on the network it is willing to share its customer KYC data with. Functional and workflow testing become crucial to ensure that the entire process is followed methodically and without errors.

When a whitelisted bank requests for another bank’s customer KYC data, the requester bank is then provided access to that data for a consideration in a currency accepted by all participating banks which could be a virtual currency. The system also needs to be tested for access rights, data privacy, authentication, and transaction consideration.

The data access request and retrieval involve data conversion (to Hex format) and reconversion (back to images) for retrieval, making checks for data sanctity and fidelity (accuracy, protection from loss or tampering, etc.) essential. Auditability, authenticity, data ownership, and Blockchain security controls are other important areas QA testing addresses. As the process is driven by API integration between blockchain framework and application and hence API testing,  business rules & workflow at applications layer and data conversion at blockchain layer are important functions fulfilled by QA.

A few other areas where QA testing plays a major role include usability / Compatibility testing, privileged access management testing, ensuring low response time (performance testing), data encryption, storage and retrieval testing, and security testing.

 

Blockchain adoption considerations

Even as banks look at investing in the permissioned blockchain model, there are a few critical elements they will need to consider to keep risks under control. Examining a few critical aspects beforehand may help a bank conduct quality assurance for any permissioned blockchain implementation successfully.

  • Architecture assessment: Examine the technology architecture and design to be used for the Application presentation layer, API layer to integrate with blockchain framework and the blockchain platform (like Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda, Ethereum, Mutlichain, etc). Consider whether nodes are to be hosted on public or on-premise (private) cloud which  consensus mechanism are used.
  • Use Led QA: Consider the end user of application from the perspective of Bank to cover the Bank end QA of app and from Consumer perspective cover the User Experience led QA to ensure that no compromise of quality, Speed of delivery and end User Experience due to technology stack. It is expected to be even better experience then having traditional multi-hand shacking apps.
  • Process flow and integrations: Examine how the existing interfacing systems are connected with blockchain framework. Assess whether the solution is geared to work seamlessly with the bank’s internal systems.
  • Data encryption: Ensure the data and images are encrypted and stored in blockchain and decrypted & retrieved in an error-free manner. The privilege controls within the network and the access provided to other participants nodes need to be clearly defined and tested.
  • Compliance testing: Ensure the regulations related to customer data privacy and other aspects such as storage, authentication and verification are being complied with.

 

An ongoing process

Software quality proves essential not just at the beginning of a blockchain-based centralised KYC, remittances, clearing and settlement, trade finance, loan syndication, etc., but even afterwards. The use of blockchain by banks may be limited in the initial days. However, as the technology matures, banks will expand the scope of blockchain projects, further making quality engineering an essential component of these initiatives.

 

~ Written by Vivek Porwal, Sr. VP & Delivery Head - Banking, ‎QualityKiosk

5 Ways Customer Journey Analytics Is Disrupting The Marketplace

Surprisingly, 81% of the brands have a holistic overview of their customers, but only 37% of customers feel that their favorite brand understands them.

That’s the experience gap you need to close by augmenting your analytics efforts to enhance the customer journey. For marketers who are not ready to come out of their shell, it’s time to move past their fear and confront the digital disruption with open arms.

But, before moving forward what is customer journey analytics?

Customer journey analytics is tracking the different channels a customer use to interact with an enterprise. It basically combines everything from the point a customer associates with your brand. Today, it has become imperative for marketers to focus on journey analytics to get access to real-time data, which will offer personalized experience. The insights from the analytics will help you provide instant gratification to the online customer and will sharpen your business goal.

According to a report by Gartner, in the coming 3 years, 60% of the digital commerce analytics will be spent on customer journey analytics.

The scope is immense, you only need to get started.

Here are five ways customer analytics is proving crucial for your online marketplace.

Accelerates interaction

With customer journey analytics, you can reduce the customer complaint by 20%. In a digital marketplace, the success of a business equates with speed. Today, customers expect super-personalized messages and prefer real-time interaction with the brands. And, lack of such an experience creates a blind spot and the lifetime value of the customer comes down to zero. When customers are hard to influence and confounding to predict, journey analytics will promise to do for marketing, what attribution does for media.

Enhances competition

One customer might prefer emails as a means of communication while the other prefers Facebook. How will you reach out to recipients through a channel of their preference? It also ensures uplifting the conversion rate. With customer journey analytics, marketers can increase their customer conversion by 20%. The analytics unearths crucial information such as lifestyle, preferred method of communication, taste, purchase pattern and behavior, which is used as a foundation for campaigns.

Estimates future behavior

A deadly combination of journey analytics, mapping, behavioral analyses creates a holistic picture of the customer journey. This helps a business to identify the current customer cycle and predict the future behavior as well. It prefects the customer journey with your brand. Journey analytics is not just restricted to just providing information about what is working and what isn’t , but it defines the best practices to enhance the customer journey at each digital touch point.

Increasing pace of real-time valuable insights

According to a research, 95% of the businesses are incapable of making sense of customer data and literally struggle to gain real-time customer insights. Journey analytics empowers the brands to amalgamate previous journey and purchase information with current data in real-time. When all the information is under a single window, it will definitely increase the speed of piquing the interest of the customers.

Super-personalization

One tough challenge marketers face is finding the right opportunity for upsell and cross sell – both leaves a lasting impact on the business. Using analytics, the opportunity to send targeted and personalized messages increases. According to a survey, customers whole-heartedly welcome price-matching, and cross sell emails. With data driven marketing insights obtained from big analytics, marketers can easily urge the customers to become loyal customers.

When only one in five marketers are able to react to a customer during real-time interaction, journey analytics and customer experience monitoring becomes imperative for the success of the business. Initially, digital disruption will seem messy and unpredictable, but it’s extremely motivating and completely inescapable. Use your customer journey analytics to drive value and enhance the customer experience.

Digital Quality Assurance For Banking

Amid the trend to digitize every possible activity, CIOs are widely focusing on IT initiatives that enhance the experience of the digital customer. With a rapid increase in transactional banking and widespread use of smartphones, digital wallets are likely to capture the market. According to Federal Reserve Board report, 28% of smartphone users make mobile payment and 94% of mobile banking users check account transaction queries. The statistics prove the accelerating impeachment of technology in the banking domain.

Additionally, with a bouquet of banking channels such as internet, mobile banks, ATMs, IVR and diverse payment gateways, banks need flawless experience at all the touch points. This makes digital quality assurance imperative for the BFSI sector.

Financial apps are complex and requires an extra layer of protection because it clasps one element that can make the entire world spin – money. Furthermore, with the increasing use of technology, banks are integrating cloud services and IoT into their landscape. These 21st century applications need to consistently provide superior customer experience, delivery above-par quality and make the banking process simple.

Enhance customer experience with cloud testing

With the world going head over heels on using the cloud for various purposes, the banking sector needs to embrace cloud testing to cause significant impact on the customers and the banking processes. The need of the hour for banking sector is to establish a test environment for cloud based services and use testing tools which will increase the interoperability, security and affordability of the banking solutions. According to a report by Gartner by 2018, 25% of the new financial app deployment in large enterprise will be public cloud SaaS.

Better decision making with big data analytics testing

Big data has become the starting point of bringing a transformational change for many BFSI organizations. Today, banks are leveraging the power of big data analytics to create customer-centric and customer-driven products. For banks, big data analytics testing is crucial because it assists in taking accurate key business decisions. Banks need to primarily focus on validating live big data collected from different sources. It helps in determining the performance of the application. Furthermore, with big data being synonymous with large volume, testing the scalability and security of the application is important in big data analytics testing.

Enhancing performance with static testing

A well-planned static test management program is more than sufficient to deliver products and services matching the expectations of the digital customers. Static testing is done to catch bugs early in the SDLC. It not only saves time, but reduces the post-production defects in the application. Early detection of bugs can include defects in the functional requirements, inconsistent interface specification, deviation from the standard code and non-maintainable code. Furthermore, when creating test strategies, focus only on enhancing the customer experience.

From load testing to cyber security testing, the digital quality assurance in banking delivers a robust banking application, which creates customer intimacy.

Challenges faced in digital quality assurance

Dynamic device support – More than 85% of a consumer’s time is spent on mobile devices. With a new cellphone launching almost every week, it becomes challenging for the banking sector to roll out revisions to enhance the customer experience.

Complex data – With the frequently changing federal regulations, constantly updating the banking applications is a mammoth task. Moreover, with increased pressure to deliver the product, the time allotted for testing is reduced, which risks the quality of the application.

Real time activity – The mobile banking applications need to provide real-time updates to the customers. This is crucial because according to a report by Federal Reserve Board report, 58% of the mobile banking customers transfer money between accounts. Providing real-time updates is crucial for the success of a banking application. However, due to the complex nature of the banking applications, achieving this task is challenging.

Data security – Banking applications are the soft target of hackers because it involves monetary transactions. Therefore, detailed reporting is essential to track each activity. Maintaining data security is the key to build long term customer relationship.

For banking applications, we need to focus on developing faster and more structured testing solutions to increase customer intimacy.

Robotic Process Automation - What's In It For You?

 

In 2000, when the world&rsquo;s first smartphone was marketed, the industry witnessed the largest economic revolution. We have come far from that day and today, according to a report by McKinsey and Company, Robotic Process Automation will create a market of more than $6.7 trillion by the end of 2025. This is likely to bring the second largest revolution in the automation market.

RPA is a set of software tools and technology that replicates human actions like running applications, processing data, operating applications, performing complex calculations and manipulating data. These robots are designed using a specific code, allowing them to work 24 X 7 for different tasks. Example in the back-office RPA may be used for maintaining records and queries to automating the month-end reporting for the finance department, there is nothing an RPA cannot perform.

RPA comes handy in a wide range of sectors including process automation of office task, assisted automation and IT support. The umpteen benefits of technology are inclining companies to use RPA on a large scale.

Where does RPA fits in?

According to a research by Deloitte, a RPA software can perform more than 60 actions in a sequence. Selecting the right process of RPA is crucial for the successful implementation of an RPA project.

In the insurance sector, RPA is used to update client profiles, generate renewal premium, processing the claim, underwriting process, administration of policy. RPA is most suitable for processes, which are clearly defined, ruled based, standardized and repeatable. Furthermore, to yield maximum leverage from an RPA process, the volume of work should be large to justify the RPA expenditure.

Components of RPA

For the robots to seamlessly integrate into the business process, you need to focus on implementing certain tools and focus on the following components to complete the RPA platform. QualityKiosk uses the AAIM framework for RPA.

Analyze – Just because the world is going crazy over RPA, you cannot blindly follow what others are doing. Analyzing the business processes for RPA candidature is crucial. RPA thrives and works wonders when subjectivity is eliminated from a process. For identifying whether the process is suitable for an RPA or not, consider the following:

  • Suitable where the rules of business for the processing of transactions clear
  • Suitable for processes and transactions involving digital and structured data
  • Fruitful and profitable for projects with a longer shelf life
  • Apt for processes requiring improved accuracy, customer service and cost reduction

Automate – You need to understand that automating every part of the business process is futile because you will only end-up incurring a high cost without reaping any benefits. Therefore, automate the relevant part of the business process for best results. Focus on automating process that are critical, do not require much human intervention and process requiring multiple systems to work in sync.

Integrate – A bouquet of tools is available, which you need to integrate with the RPA to transform and streamline your organization’s workflow. RPA can easily integrate with any third-party services for which no application interface exists. From the scheduling of transport to container optimization, you can integrate anything into the robotic process without the interference of the IT department of both the parties. Integrating different tools, which help you reach the RPA objectives.

Manage – The success of RPA involves in how well you manage and monitor the RPA processes. From analyzing the log for each activity to ongoing monitoring, you need to ensure that every task is completed with facing and bottlenecks. Continuous improvement is crucial to reap benefits from the RPA process.

Benefits of RPA

Low cost - Robotic process automation costs less than one-third the price of a full-time employee. And, robots can operate 24/7 when compared to humans who work for 8 hours a day.

Enhanced accuracy – RPA is renowned for providing excellent services to processes having a high probability of human error. Robots work selflessly and never whine when expected to work without rest. Robots remove the amount of re-work, thereby improving the quality of the output drastically.

Improved consistency – Robots are safe because they never interfere with the systems and perform the work with the same level of consistency every time. Consistency enhances the quality and improves the processes.

Improved performance metrics – With just the push of a button, reports are available, which drastically cuts down the number of steps, which otherwise takes a significant amount of time. These readily available metrics help the companies take an informed decision.

RPA is burgeoning and is an advanced technology revolutionizing and changing the ways various business processes are running.

The Digital Insurance Imperative: Go Digital Or Go Bust

 

The insurance technology sector is witnessing a massive transformation with the adoption of technology. Those companies who understand and embrace the latest technologies always deliver higher customer engagement and take the customer connection to the next level. By using mobile to relying on social media and from using technology to using the cloud, making decisions, deepening customer connections and pursuing profitable innovations has become easy for the insurer.

Digital is slowly getting imbibed in the veins of the customers, which is indirectly shaping their digital experience. Those insurance companies that cope up with the challenges are capable of cutting costs, improving profitability and helps in building customer loyalty.

Here are a few changes that have created a landmark change in the insurance sector and is urging other companies to come up with innovative ideas to provide instant gratification to the digital customers.

Peer-to-peer insurance model of Lemonade

P2P insurance is slowly gaining traction and is creating seismic ripples in the world of insurance. In 2015, Lemonade became the first company in U.S to operate as an insurance carrier. The insurance model creates a small group of policy holders that pay a fixed amount of premium and the money is equally refunded at the end of each year if no claim is made. It allows participants to share the risk of any damage or accident along with other people. P2P insurance is changing the entire landscape and disrupting the traditional insurance by mitigating conflicts between the insurance company and policyholders at the time of a claim. Startup companies like Lemonade promises a powerful, pleasant and a game changing experience for both the insurers and the policyholders.

Digital insurance is definitely reshaping the entire landscape of insurance.

Social insurance like Friendsurance

In 2010, Friendsurance was created with a mindset to make insurance less expensive by reducing the amount of premiums each year. In this type of insurance, users are rewarded with a cash back at the end of every year they do not make a claim. The company is utilizing the digital innovation and tapping into the market in an extremely innovative way. According to a survey, 90% of customers who used Friendsurance in 2013 received a portion of their premium as cash back. This revolutionizing startup model is helping thousands of customers buy cheaper and affordable insurance.

Drones as aerial assessors

Drones are slowly piquing the interest of insurance companies as they improve the overall functionality of the business improving underwriting and claim management. With drones, the insurance company gets access to isolated areas where human intervention is difficult. It helps in assessing loss through imagery analytics and collects aerial data, which enhances precision and accelerates the response time. Drones also come in handy as they accurately predict the risks and helps the insurance company take an informed decision.

A variety of breakthrough technologies are helping in spurring the fundamentals of digital insurance. Undoubtedly, the changing technology is enabling the traditional insurers to cope up and reinvent themselves, it also urges them to respond to the competition. P2P insurance, social insurance and drones are definitely making their way in the insurance sector.