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Manual Testing vs Automated Testing: It's Not a Competition!

Steve Gilde March 6, 2023
Manual Testing vs Automated Testing: It's Not a Competition!

When it comes to payment processing, it is imperative for businesses to ensure that their systems are secure, efficient, and reliable. As the volume of cashless transactions continues to grow, the importance of thorough payment testing becomes even more critical.

Here at Paragon, you will find us talking about the benefits that automation can bring to your payment testing processes. 

In fact, in the Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2023 automation is cited as a critical piece in the creation of the “digital immune system”, which is the combination of practices and technologies for software design, development, operations and analytics to mitigate business risks. 

We believe strongly that the most forward-thinking financial services organizations have strategies in place to continually invest in the tools, resources and infrastructure necessary to automate their testing processes.

But that doesn’t mean that we can ignore manual testing. 

In this blog, we explore not only what automated testing is and why it’s so critical for your business - BUT why it’s crucial that you also conduct manual testing as well. After all, it’s not a competition!

Manual Testing

As the name implies, during manual testing a developer, tester or QA resource compares the behavior of a payment message or transaction with some predefined or expected outcome. 

Typically, the tester will run through a number of functional use cases to verify and validate that the financial messages are being processed correctly. 

There are several important scenarios where manual testing makes sense, including:

  • New product development and exploratory testing when developers, analysts or QA engineers are directly involved in determining how to construct (or deconstruct) specific messages or transactions, appropriate validation rules, etc.
  • Certification testing which often requires direct interaction between resources from a member organization and the brand, network or processor who is managing the certification process.
  • Ad hoc testing for certain scenarios that may be run occasionally or are so complex that it may not be practical to use automation. 

Automated Testing

Once functional tests have been completed and validated, tools and scripts can be used to automate future testing efforts, significantly reducing the ongoing effort associated with running the tests. The use of automation will improve overall test coverage, enabling testers to run more tests in less time.

Automation provides a number of advantages, including:

  • Speed: Automated testing is much faster than manual testing. Automation testing tools can execute in significantly less time that it would take to run the same number of tests manually.
  • Reliability: Automation makes testing repeatable and consistent, enabling tests to be run accurately over and again and again. Automation also makes it much easier to track and document results
  • Scalability: As you automate more and more of your testing, the more valuable this resource becomes. Automation enables rapid, large-scale testing, such as regression tests to be scheduled to run any time.  Automation also makes it much easier to integrate your payment testing environment with other enterprise systems.

It’s Not an Either Or Situation - You Need Both

While manually testing all of your payment scenarios is no longer practical or cost-effective, it has a role to play and cannot be abandoned.

Automation compliments the manual testing process and both are important components in a comprehensive and effective payment testing strategy.

Automation will help your testing and resources get more testing done in less time, allowing them to focus on other higher value tasks, such as developing new products and services

Are you looking to leverage automation testing to improve your payment testing processes? Paragon Application Systems has designed a range of solutions to help financial service companies improve testing speed and accuracy while reducing costs and project overhead. 

Request a free consultation with our team of experts today. 

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