How COVID-19 will affect innovation and testing in Financial Services
COVID-19 has been a tragedy for those affected by it, but also a demonstration of society’s positive traits which has allowed us to see what a fantastic job our medical professionals and first responders do every day of the week.
As always, after any tragedy comes the aftermath and our response. In this context much of that will be rebuilding the global economy, which has been affected more significantly by a single event than at any time for many generations, if not ever. At the same time, we will be dealing with a change in market behaviour that will alter the way in which businesses and economies operate.
Organisations and consumers are engaging in commerce quite differently from how they were early in March. In addition, working practices have altered so radically that many companies are already acknowledging that a complete return to previous ways of operating is almost certainly not going to happen. Indeed, many are considering downsizing their office space and supporting a more active programme of working from home.
For those of us in the payment sector, this will bring additional pressures to an area of commerce that has experienced constant and often extreme change for a generation. In parallel with the on-going changes in legislation, standards and operational mandates will be new forms of consumer behaviour from a global population that is likely to be less keen on touching devices or handling physical objects.
New technology launches will change
It is now more likely that people will split their working week between their home and office to reduce the stress of commuting and to comply with the social distancing measures. Employers are likely to need to support this requirement for some time into the future and the longer this goes on the more it will become an accepted way of working.
This combination of circumstances is likely to create major challenges for how the payments industry develops and tests software. Desktop solutions, requiring the physical presence of testers and developers inside premises, will need to be reconsidered and reinvented. The process of developing individual pieces of code to test specific elements of a system will be more of a problem. Trying to operate remotely while remaining reliant on a machine in an office will be a fundamentally limiting factor. Either testers will have to remain in the office, which they may prefer not to do (or even have the option to do) or more flexible solutions will have to be developed.
Innovation in testing
Fortunately, the new generation of payments testing software is already able to address this situation. Platform-based payments virtualisation, available 24/7 via browser technology, and which can be fully automated, supports this new order and delivers major improvements in cost, productivity and time to market. Access to results and data via a browser supports remote working in a DevOps world, where developers, testers and BAs can collaborate effectively from different locations.
The upside of the new normal may be a less stressed, more engaged workforce, who only have to commute around half of the time they do today. The good news for the industry is that the technology to support this exists today and can be rapidly deployed. Iliad Solutions have been leading the industry for years with our t3:Switch and t3:Portal. Together, t3 provides a fully integrated platform to support a full breadth of testing and certification, and is used by institutions across the world.
The technology can be deployed in the cloud (private and public) and supports ISO20022 and API formats. as well as over 70 other industry standard formats. The containerised design allows centralised control and management, while delivering independent deployments that provide the potential for maximum flexibility supporting fully collaborative working even where teams are distributed or working remotely.