Financial Services

What are the specifics of instant payment testing?

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Does instant payment testing have its specifics? Absolutely. Factors such as time, connection to new clearing, full availability, and high performance enter the testing process. Therefore, it is good to consider all these factors when designing your test concepts and scenarios. Which scenarios should not be missing in your testing strategy?

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Most banks are starting to test instant payments in their internal systems. After setting up the infrastructure and initial calibration, as well as the performance of the systems involved in instant payment processing and integration layers, transfers within the bank are the best place to start. In test scenarios, we can measure the speed of payment order validation, reservation of available funds, and final transfer from the payer's account to the payee's account without impact on the outside world.

End to end payment processing should not take more than a few seconds. Therefore, it is advisable to start testing the overall performance of the systems and the ability to process multiple payment orders received simultaneously. At this stage, banks will likely encounter options and limits that must be considered in the future or look for a way to increase capacity.

The second step is to test with the clearing service provider itself. These banks already have set rules based on which you can expect both a positive response to a payment order and a negative response – for example, due to a lack of liquidity or a blocked or even non-existent payee account. This set of test scenarios shall not forget any case that may occur in production and that has been defined in advance by the provider or regulator.

The third step is called community testing. This is a situation where either a specific counterparty is agreed to test the entire payment order process, or all payment service providers are obliged to connect their testing environment and ensure the processing of incoming payments. Here, too, we test all scenarios that may occur, including performance tests.

The provider of the instant payment service will also need to set up internal monitoring to monitor the availability of all systems responsible for processing payment orders. The components' gradual shutdown, error reporting, and reaction to failures are integral to the overall test plan. Similarly, disaster recovery scenarios in case of the unavailability of instant payment services should be tested well in advance. They must be part of the payment service provider's overall strategy with repetition at least once a year.

In general, payment testing is a recurring process. It is now standard that these test scenarios are fully automated wherever possible. After all, there are constant changes from the regulator (known as the Rule Book) or from the side of the needs and differences of internal systems. Every saving of human resources is a welcome indicator, including maintaining a high quality of service and the integrity of all systems. And this is where automated tests play an irreplaceable role.

All these aspects of instant payment testing are the cornerstones of the concept of the specialist team at Trask. Our priority is to help clients achieve effective and high-quality implementation of change requirements and new functionalities. Instant payments require continuous availability and constant pressure to increase the number of messages processed in a shorter time. Suppose we keep in mind all the specifics of instant payments and build these scenarios not only from the functional point of view, but also from the IT perspective. In that case, we can expect smooth implementation of the highest quality customer service.

Jan Šejnoha, Test Analyst, Payments

Honza has been testing in the banking sector for more than six years. As a Test Analyst, he was mainly responsible for tests in the area of Payments, both for domestic and foreign payments and participated in implementing and testing instant payments. He is continuing a leasing project and expanding his knowledge of JAVA development in his free time.

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