One of the most crucial stages in any product’s development is the testing phase. This is where both the developers, business managers, designers, and literally everybody involved in its production get to see it come to fruition.
The funniest thing about this is that most people actually want the testing phase to show errors, gaps in UI/UX designs, or general issues with the product. It is much better than the development team itself finds these issues than the client. Therefore, it’s quite rare to find a production team happy about having 0 errors in their first testing attempt. It just doesn’t happen. If there are no errors the first time, it means you’re not testing it right.
But how do you actually test a fintech product? Do you just send it out into the market hoping it will catch on? Well, both yes and no. Let’s see how the process looks like for a small startup before we jump to large corporations.
Trying to break it
Once the first phase of development is completed it is up to the developers as well as the hired professional testers to break the software. What this means is that they need to use it in the most unorthodox ways, locations, circumstances, and times. This will help to avoid any issues with customers later using the software in those similar situations.
First, we start with the designated platform. For example, if we make our product for the PC, we test it there first. Usually, this shows at least a dozen errors that the devs immediately go through fixing, but it’s not over yet. The issues are documented, but the testing continues to see if these issues cause any further problems with the software. This is done in order to see if there are any better ways to fix something with just one quick debug or if it needs manual adjustment line by line.
Once this phase is completed, it’s time to send the software overseas. That’s right, the team needs to test their product on any kind of device, network connection, geographical location, and regulation.
For example. Will a certain country’s pre-installed firewall block the software when it sees it in action? If not, then everything went thought as planned, but if yes then maybe lowering or increasing the bandwidth is required. It’s always situational.
Backtesting is a pretty gruesome experience for everybody involved. It includes testing a new feature on an old version of the software to see if it will work better there.
You see, when developing these products, the devs keep different versions of the “final product” which is usually like a motherboard, where different features are installed and tested if they work.
This type of testing is actually derived from a popular financial strategy. So using it for a FinTech product is pretty thematic. The idea behind it is pretty much the same as MetaTrader 4 backtesting if there’s an FX trader reading this. For those who don’t really understand let’s try and simplify it.
The devs take a completely new feature and test it on some different versions of the “final product”. Depending on how important the feature is, they choose their final “motherboard” and optimize all future features for it rather than changing the motherboard itself. MT4 works the same way when it comes to backtesting. The process involves taking a strategy and testing it in a past market situation. If it works then it’s probably a good idea to implement it now, if it doesn’t well then you need to change it.
Backtesting usually precedes the final testing phase, which is distributing the software to testers around the world and launching a BETA version.
The BETA version is only implemented after professional testers have abused and tried to break the software. Once they’re through with it, it’s time to give the general public a taste of the product. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to utilize the product in some situations when we’re doing it intentionally. Some situations are only caused by accident, which is why the BETA version is used for weeding out those final bugs before moving to the official launch.
But BETA testing also has its own strategies and implementation methods. For example, most FinTech companies launch it first in markets they are not necessarily essential. This ensures that only a few people will use the product, and will use it for very specific purposes that may not have been pre-determined by the dev team.
Once even these final issues have been ironed out, the final product launches in desired markets in order to have a fresh start. You see, if they had tested the BETA version in desired markets, then the remaining issues could have caused serious issues to the brand name. By testing it in an undesirable environment, the product saves face when it actually comes to the target market.
And should the previously unwanted market become the next target, it will have been several months or even years after the BETA test, ensuring minimal damage to the brand name.
That’s pretty much the gist of it. Naturally, we’re forgoing hundreds of hours of technical involvement in the software and debugging, but this is usually a patch that a FinTech product would follow during testing.