Can Automation Replace Manual Testing in the Payments Industry?

Steve Gilde October 4, 2023
Can Automation Replace Manual Testing in the Payments Industry?

Here at Paragon, you will find us talking frequently about the benefits that testing automation can bring to banks, financial services companies, processors, networks, retailers – to any organization that processes electronic payments.

At times it may sound like we think automation can be applied to every testing scenario, but that is really not the case. While we do believe that automated testing is faster, more accurate, and more cost effective than traditional manual testing methods, both automated and manual testing are key components in any complete and effective payment testing strategy.

In the complex and highly competitive environment that we all live and work in today, it is critically important that we do everything we can to optimize limited resources, including our people.

In their report on 2023 Technology Trends, McKinsey partner Santiago Comella-Dorda says “Developers are perhaps one of the most valuable assets for the modern digital enterprise, yet they spend well over 40 percent of their time on repetitive, low-value tasks that could be easily automated with a modern tool set.

We don’t look at test automation as a way to replace people. Rather, we see automation as a tool to support and augment the work that our people must do, making them faster, more effective, and more successful. And while automation cannot completely replace manual testing, it is no longer practical or cost-effective for financial service companies to rely solely on this testing strategy.

Investing in automation will deliver a number of benefits and enable your organization to consistently deliver a superior payment experience on every transaction.

The Benefits of Test Automation

  • Speed and Efficiency: Automation complements and enhances manual testing efforts, enabling teams to run more tests in less time.
  • Consistency and Accuracy: Automation helps reduce the risk of human error, ensuring that tests are performed consistently and accurately every time.
  • Expanded Test Coverage: Strategic use of automation will provide an ever expanding library of messages and transactions that continually expand test coverage.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Once tests are automated, they can be run over and over again as required with little or no incremental cost.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Testing automation makes it much easier to report on results, analyze data and make better business decisions. 

2023 Trends Guide Payment Testing

The Value of Manual Testing

While automation offers some significant benefits, manual testing remains a necessity in a number of important scenarios:

  • New Product Development: Developers and analysts need to be directly involved in determining how to construct (or deconstruct) specific messages or transactions, create appropriate validation rules, etc.
  • Exploratory Testing: Some use cases are not well defined or understood. Exploratory testing enables developers to simultaneously learn, design and test.
  • Ad Hoc Testing: Some test scenarios may only be run infrequently or under specific circumstances that do not lend themselves to automation.

Harmonizing Manual Testing and Automation

Both automation and manual testing need to be integral parts of your overall testing strategy. Automation compliments the manual testing process and will help your developers and other testing resources get more testing done in less time - allowing them to focus on other higher value tasks, such as developing new revenue generating products and fighting fraud.

However, the importance of automation cannot be understated. According to Deloitte in its Quality Engineering Trends 2023 report, organizations must drive both efficiency through automation, augmenting the work of manual testers to increase productivity and reduce costs.

Interested in learning more about how your organization can use automation to optimize its payment testing operation? Request a free consultation with Paragon today, and learn how our portfolio of solutions can help you achieve your business goals.

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