By Steve Gilde, Director of Global Product Marketing, Paragon Application Systems
The world has sped up exponentially over the past decade. Thanks to the many advances made in our modern digital age, consumers can see more, be more and accomplish more than ever before. Take holiday shopping for instance, what used to take long and draining days at the mall can now be accomplished in a few hours on the couch.
Consumers expect convenience in all aspects of their daily life. They enjoy buying what they want, when they want it and have grown accustomed to the ease of having an Uber arrive at their doorstep or seeing groceries delivered to their house with just a few taps or swipes on their phones.
They prioritize convenience and hold the same expectations for payment providers; they want to be able to pay for anything, anywhere. If a payment provider can’t support consumers’ desired ways to pay and provide them with a frictionless experience that will not crash or fail, there is no doubt that consumers will find another provider that does.
One can have the most sophisticated payments systems available, but if they are not tested properly and fail once, they’ll see high levels of abandonment.
While on the surface it may seem that the payments industry has kept pace with these changes, this has not been easy. Digital payments options available today have increased rapidly and will only continue to multiply.
Providers are supporting a seemingly never-ending list of payment apps, endpoints and consumer devices. As payment providers are forced to diversify their offerings to stay relevant and competitive, they need to ensure that every new payment type, every new connection and every new transaction works perfectly every time.
To keep up with ever more sophisticated and demanding consumers, this will require additional investment in payments testing solutions that leverage automation and virtualization.
Behind the times
While next-generation testing solutions are available, many organizations still rely on outdated, manually-driven testing tools and processes. While they may have worked okay in the past, these legacy forms of testing can no longer adequately support the current pace of change or wide variety of payments options that are available today.
Simply put, manual testing is expensive, time-consuming and inefficient. Manual processes also introduce the unwanted element of human error into the payments process.
Automation and virtualization offer significant opportunity to streamline payment testing operations. An automated testing process will help speed up the testing process, increase overall test coverage and reduce mistakes. Automation also allows for payment providers to reduce risk and better protect both the company’s brand and consumers.
Setting up an automated test framework comprised of software and re-usable data facilitates testing across multiple payment use cases and operational scenarios. Recorded test cases can be built into regression scripts and scheduled to run after hours with results delivered back to testers the next morning.
Payment providers that invest in these next generation testing methods will have a definite advantage over competitors that continue to rely on manual tools and processes and will allow them to maintain a more strategic focus on their overall objectives. Providers who take advantage of advanced testing options will also be able to ensure that they provide an optimal experience for consumers.
The pace of change and innovation will only continue to accelerate. The days of the cash-only society are long gone, and it is no longer acceptable for providers to only support the standard debit and credit options. The payments environment will continue to become more complex as consumer preferences evolve and new payments options such as contactless cards, wearables and the Internet of Things become available.
As the modernization of payments systems occurs, testing methods must modernize as well. A payments infrastructure is only as strong as its weakest link; building sophisticated platforms and then not testing them properly actually introduces additional opportunity for failure and potential for brand damage.
Payment providers must determine how to seamlessly support a wide variety of options if they want to be successful in the modern payments age. By investing in automated testing solutions, payment processors are investing in their future.