Smartphone banking revolution or disaster for UK banking sector

    By Amy Montague, Tuesday 6 September 2016

    As you may have heard the UK’s Banks have been forced to offer customers a revolution in mobile banking with the same services available on mobile devices as can be found in high street branches.

    The CMA has announced these new rules and regulations will allow customers to access details of their entire finances through a single mobile phone app. This will require our banks to think differently about who and how their consumers use banking services and interact with digital interfaces across a wide breath of platforms and devices.

    This will place pressure upon the Banking and Financial Services sector to comprehensively test their apps across all types of testing encompassing; Functional, Usability, Security, Localisation, Lifestyle, Accessibility and In-Live Performance.  Perhaps Crowdsourced Testing could be the catalyst for the reconfiguration of our banks. This approach will work best in this instance for fast, progressive and concurrent cycles of testing which is what will be needed to keep pace with the applications being released, requiring access on a worldwide scale.

    The order given by the CMA goes further in depth stating that customers must have the mobile functionality to apply for loans, overdrafts and even mortgages all from their mobile phone or device of any description.  Therefore, this is not as simple as running a software update and going to launch. This order will require the reconfiguration of all banks customer facing apps including many add-ons which the new digital services banks are being asked to provide.

    Loyalty in UK banking has deteriorated to such an extent that in a review from October 2015, the CMA stated that British consumers were “disengaged” with the current banking market. It is clear from this latter statement that CX is paramount and paired with technology this could be the revitalisation of the UK consumer banking sector.  Maybe this recent order by the CMA will put the UK high-street banks into the global race to mobilise banking potentially putting the UK at the top of the chart? How is your bank ensuring that CX is paramount to the retention of existing customers and your banks future in the digital landscape? Understand here how we add knowledge, value and peace of mind to the Banking and Financial Services sector.

    The big question is how secure are your applications and the devices?

    This move by the CMA on the banks digitisation will further put more pressure onto banks to ensure that their apps have been vigorously tested against hackers.

    This is going to accelerate the focus on security for mobile devices. This could be a huge disaster if security holes are not flagged up. APIs, are a major cornerstone of the CMA's plan for banks to share consumer data, this can also provide an easy route for attackers if not properly secure. Most APIs use a simple authentication protocol to confirm access to server assets. The usual approach is a simple challenge-response exchange that relies on cryptographic keys to keep it secure. If attackers are able to break into the app and decompile its code, they can root out these keys and use them to connect to any authorised system including the bank's servers and infrastructure allowing remote access to user’s data across all applications and devices.

    This move will eventually alleviate the need to visit bank branches or use computers for online banking to carry out daily banking activities.

    Further to this it will also lessen the risk of customers being targeted in branches by face-to-face "advisers" who may attempt to sell poor-value products and unnecessary add-ons, such as insurance.

    The change will increase competition which will be a good thing, allowing customers to access all of their finances - including current accounts, savings accounts and mortgages - in one place even if they are currently manged by different providers.

    It will also enable customers to immediately compare their rates with other services and quickly move their money if they are getting a poor deal.

    However, all of these benefits are great but unless the banks utilise alternative Testing Strategies and Testing Roadmaps such as Crowdsourced testing and automation testing opposed to the traditional internal testing methods. Once the applications have been launched traditional testers will struggle to keep pace with the new age of the banks mobile digitisation.


    Click here to arrange to speak to one of our financial software Testing specialists.

    Amy Montague

    Amy Montague

    As one of the Marketing Executives for Digivante, Amy provides and reviews most of the copy and visual content for Digivante. Amy has a natural flair for the creative and introduces aspect into her marketing role.

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