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Test Automation: The Key to Navigating Payment Industry Challenges

Steve Gilde December 27, 2023

Consumers and businesses continue to embrace digital payments, causing the payments industry to face more change, more challenges and more competition than ever before. 


Continued reliance on legacy processes and technology has made it increasingly difficult for financial services organizations to keep up with transaction growth, rapidly evolving customer expectations, legal and regulatory pressures, as well as disruptive competitors.

As the payments world continues to evolve, the importance of secure, efficient and cost effective payment systems cannot be overstated. This brings us to an often overlooked aspect of payment processing that is critical to keeping the entire payment ecosystem safe, secure and available - payment testing.


Protecting and optimizing the performance of critical system components requires investment in modern testing solutions that help maximize productivity, improve delivery timeframes and improve quality, as well as reducing costs and ensuring that every consumer transaction is processed perfectly. 


 In today’s dynamic marketplace, that means test automation. 


Current Payment Industry Challenges


Challenge: Digital Transformation

Payment systems don’t operate in isolation, but many financial services organizations continue to struggle under the burden of their complex legacy processing environments. Applications and processes that have been in place for decades are expensive to maintain and difficult to integrate with more modern technology.



Modern testing technologies are designed to support flexible automation strategies, as well integrate into broader enterprise systems, such CI/CD pipelines. This integration, including the use of published APIs, helps foster collaboration across organizational boundaries and ensure that every code change, no matter how minor, can be tested before deployment.


2023 Trends Guide Payment Testing


Challenge: Competing Priorities/Limited Resources

Acquiring and retaining staff has certainly become an industry challenge. Getting - and keeping  - the right people in the right seats is more difficult than ever before. Budget pressures mean that we continually ask our people to do more with less. It is therefore critically important to provide the technology and tools that your team members need to succeed both personally and professionally. 


Aggressive use of automation will significantly reduce the amount of repetitive and redundant testing for your valuable resources - enabling them to accomplish more in less time. Server and cloud-based testing platforms facilitate improved communication and collaboration, enabling developers, testers and QA staff to be more successful and spend more time on higher value tasks, such as developing new revenue generating products and fighting fraud.
Challenge: Evolving Consumer Expectations

Increasingly sophisticated consumers have truly embraced electronic payments and easily jump between physical, digital and even virtual worlds. They demand that payment providers deliver a seamless, integrated, and frictionless payment experience anytime and anywhere they choose to transact.



Testing automation greatly increases productivity and expands test coverage. This enables QA resources to perform more exhaustive testing, including "what if" scenarios and negative tests. More comprehensive testing to find, correct, and prevent issues, slowdowns or outages from showing up in production systems, means payment processors can consistently delight their consumers.


Challenge: Security and Compliance

Given the sensitive nature of financial transactions, payment processors must adhere to stringent security standards, as well as various network, industry, and governmental  regulations..



Test tools specifically designed for processing and validating issuer and acquirer transaction flows can greatly simplify the testing process and ensure that messages are properly constructed and executed. Test automation capabilities enable comprehensive test suites to be completed in less time, providing further assurance that all tests are run consistently and accurately.


Challenge: Scale and Performance 

Payment systems must be ready to handle peak loads, especially during high-traffic events like Black Friday. Given the importance that any single transaction has to an individual or business, it is imperative that payment processors do everything possible to ensure that every transaction is processed correctly.



Integrating performance testing into standard testing processes is critically important to help identify and correct issues before they result in system failures or cause negative customer experiences. Modern, web-based testing applications, allow users to incorporate functional tests, regression testing, as well as automated performance analysis into a single platform.
Navigating The Future


To successfully navigate the ongoing business challenges presented by the continued growth in digital transactions, alternative payment methods, increasingly sophisticated (and demanding) consumers, and the overwhelming burden of regulatory oversight - not to mention rapidly evolving technology and aggressive moves by both fintech and big-tech competitors - financial services companies must continue to prioritize and invest in solutions that help streamline their operations, improve quality, increase productivity and reduce costs.


Investing in modern testing automation solutions will help your organization navigate these challenging times and turn testing into a competitive advantage. By enabling your teams to be more efficient, more accurate and more successful, they will consistently deliver a superior payment experience to your consumers on every transaction.


Need help in achieving that? Get in touch with Paragon Application Systems today. Our team of payment system testing experts would love to help.


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