Customer-centricity – the practice of putting the customer right at the heart of the business – has been shown to be the number one priority for banking executives, ahead of regulation and cost cutting, according to a recent report from the Banker. And it’s
little wonder. In the last few years the industry has suffered from allegations of mis-selling, poor handling of customer complaints and opaqueness around charges. With competition on the rise and legislation that has made it easy for customers to switch providers,
financial services companies are moving heaven and earth to prove how much they value their customers.
But it’s not just about making up for past failings. Banks and insurers want to be able to provide a markedly better service. And to do this, they have to be able to show their digital mettle. As digital and social media consumption increases, so does the
demand for mobile banking and insurance services. People want to be able to use apps, not just to view their current account balance, but also be able to see their mortgage status, key facts from their investment portfolio and credit card balance. If they
have all of this with one provider, they should be able to see all of this at the touch of an app. This is not only the demand from the technology savvy customer but it’s increasingly becoming the expectation.
But there are multiple obstacles that stand in the way of digital customer-centricity for banks and insurers, the biggest being that of legacy systems. With the acquisitive nature of the financial services industry, many of the big providers are now built
on multiple systems, platforms and operating environments. Data is held in silos across the business, which makes it nigh on impossible to aggregate this data to create a single customer view. To then add a digital layer to this environment, the digitally
enabled processes and mobile apps that will provide customers with the digital service they want, is extremely challenging.
And this is where the issue of testing comes in. For a start, the testing of these digital and mobile apps is crucial in making sure the customer experience is up to scratch. Mobile apps in particular have their own testing challenges. For a start, the sheer
range of mobile devices – smart phones, tablets, plus all the different models – make the testing strategy a complicated one. Apps have to be able to work seamlessly with all devices. There are also environmental factors that come into play - if users move
from a 3G to a 4G area, for example, this can impact the effectiveness of the app. And the fact that they are integrated into this legacy environment, makes the testing even more challenging. Testing of these digitally enabled processes and mobile application
testing is key, as financial services apps are amongst the most popularly accessed by UK smartphone owners.
The testing of digital processes and mobile apps has to account for so many different variables and any failures in the testing will lead to glitches in the system that will have an adverse effect on the customer experience. Automated testing is one potential
solution that can mitigate the challenge of providing sufficient testing coverage across a range of devices and platforms. This can free up time to manually test business critical applications ensuring businesses have confidence in the testing of crucial elements
of their business.
Banks need to be aware that if they don’t address the digital challenge swiftly and effectively, they run the risk of being overtaken by competitors, particularly the challenger banks that aren’t encumbered by large branch networks and legacy systems. Testing
is absolutely key in helping them deliver on their customer centric objectives and giving the customer the best experience of these digital services.