Creating Top-Notch Financial Services Solutions - Our Partnership with Kaczmarski Group
Senior Business Analyst
Senior Content Marketer & Technical Expert
Tech Leaders Corner
Kaczmarski Group is a well-established player in the financial services. For your convenience, we prepared an infographic for you to better grasp the context of our cooperation with the renown organization.
In the near future, they might call 2023 the year of Large Language Models (LLMs). We live in times when artificial intelligence is being applied in practically every profession. They can summarize a meeting, assist with UI design, create a piece of code for a developer, recommend leveraging current knowledge, and perform a variety of other frequent jobs in IT projects.
However, despite being formidable tools, they lack a key ability: creativity and innovation.
We presently work with a number of financial institutions and have identified common difficulties they encounter. Though of course, since the needs of each of our clients differ, we tailor our solutions to their specific needs. Each company has a distinct offering that caters to customers in a distinct market. In addition, each has slightly different business processes, resulting in distinct enterprise architecture and IT solutions.
Delivering high-quality custom software is a well-planned procedure and a complex undertaking. Even though there are common challenges, and common requirements among clients within the same industry, there are no cookie-cutter solutions.
With each of our clients, to ensure that our solutions work well, we employ comprehensive Quality Assurance (QA) processes.
Our QA experts understand not only how an IT solution works today, but also how it should work following the project's next phase. They are also aware of critical areas in the solution that must be checked prior to deployment to production, and thanks to their extensive experience, they can prepare test cases that detect bugs originating from a developer's moment of inattention or a missing specification detail.
We asked Ewelina Mojzych, a QA Specialist at ITMAGINATION, currently working for Polish factoring company NFG S.A., to tell us more about her attitude of being creative and innovative to deliver high quality financial systems, together with other experts as well as with NFG’s team.
Awareness Where Bugs Come from Is the Key
We place a high value on documentation in our project because it serves as a reference for all project participants. We also believe that preventing bugs is preferable to fixing them later as is common with the Agile methodology.
One of the most common issues is that the documentation may have gaps. So, before we implement our solution, we carefully read the docs and ask additional questions. Our knowledge gained from code documentation is then immediately supplemented with the necessary information and explanations following an in-depth analysis.
Despite this, there are times when the documentation is misinterpreted, resulting in ambiguities and errors in implementation or failure to account for edge cases. There are also errors involving insufficient input data validation, so we always remember to cover these cases in our test suite.
Complexity introduced by multiple integrated external sources of data
Integration with external services is required to validate the data of the Financing Service System users in accordance with legal requirements and to assess credit risk. At the moment, more than 15 integrations are live across Financing Partners, Data Sources, and Payment Providers. Furthermore, NFG’s customers can receive invoice financing in 5 minutes thanks to reliable integrations with payment systems.
Indeed, designing, developing, and testing a system with numerous integrations with external services is a challenge for the entire team, not just the testers. There are numerous difficulties.
Common Issues with 3rd Party APIs
For starters, the test data we receive from third parties is frequently insufficient to test all planned test cases. Furthermore, external services may be unavailable or limit the number of test requests, making it difficult to thoroughly test the integration.
To address this challenge, we brainstorm solutions during brainstorming sessions in which everyone can share their knowledge and experience. This allows us to create long-term solutions while also strengthening our team bond. For example, to enable more comprehensive testing in a controlled environment, we created a proprietary test tool that simulates responses from third-party sites.
Appropriate Planning is the Key
When it comes to dealing with the unavailability of external services, we anticipate such situations during the requirements analysis stage. The application is then tested to see how it behaves when one or more services are unavailable.
However, if the lack of availability makes testing difficult or if a test case requires a specific combination of data from multiple independent sources, we use self-developed simulation tools. They simulate the proper operation of third-party vendors, allowing testing of dependent test cases. Thanks to this solution, we are no longer constrained by the availability of an external data source or data shared by an external supplier.
The Art of Choosing Effective Testing Methods
The characteristics of a project phase and the testing objectives should be considered when selecting testing methods for that phase. When only requirements are available at the start of a project, static analysis techniques such as document reviews can be used. Unit tests are used during the implementation phase, and integration tests are used at the end.
Finally, NFG-selected testers conduct user acceptance tests. Their recommendation serves as information for the sponsor in making a "go-live" decision.
The potential and benefits of creativity in testing really shine through during the test design stage, when the tester must develop a variety of test scenarios while considering various execution paths, inputs, and expected results. The tester can also experiment with different combinations of inputs or test environment configurations to discover new defects or unexpected behaviors.
Test Automation and Manual Testing
The final decision is which test cases to automate and add to the test suite that checks the system's quality on a daily basis.
We will manually test aspects such as the user's interaction with the graphical interface, as well as functionalities that require human understanding, intuition, and judgment, such as aesthetics and content comprehensibility tests. By the way, testers go over the entire solution, and it is not uncommon for them to notice data or messages that are completely meaningless to humans at first glance.
We use automation to verify non-functional requirements (performance tests, load tests), ensure that all integrations continue to function properly, and perform regression tests. Test automation saves time and effort while significantly lowering costs, especially when performing the same tests multiple times.
AI is a useful and advantageous tool for us. It is challenging to automate creative testing because it requires flexible and unconventional thinking, perception, and usability evaluation. Algorithms will continually repeat the data they were trained on in various forms, modified, and so forth, which is how AI "thinks" differently from how humans think. On the other hand, people have the capacity to invent something completely original.
Thus, putting AI in a tester's hands allows for a more thorough method of application testing. Although machines have a wealth of information, we know how to apply it. We use this tool when we see that it will help our project, for that reason. Additionally, we respect our clients' knowledge and the confidentiality of their data.
NFG’s Success is Also Our Success
We asked NFG S.A. what they value the most about our collaboration. The formation of a united team is critical to the success of our project. NFG communicates their needs openly; we carefully listen and prepare designs.
Then, during workshops, we collaborate until we reach an agreement. We care a lot about the user acceptance testing (UAT) process at ITMAGINATION, so we train NFG testers on how to go through it, pass test data, and simulate time passage. This approach instills confidence in the entire team that eFaktoring (their factoring product) and Fakturatka (the reverse factoring product) will function properly month after month.
We have been working with NFG for eight consecutive years and getting updates on how their business is doing. We capitalize on this gained knowledge from our partnership to constantly improve the products we design and develop together for them to stand out in terms of quality on the Polish market.
We were overjoyed when we read about Fakturatka's successes in Gazeta Finansowa (a well-known Polish financial newspaper):
NFG was honored with the Gazeta Finansowa-Turbiny Polskiej Gospodarki award for the best products for SMEs (September 2022).
Fakturatka has received recognition in the Gazeta Finansowa ranking. Products and services that effectively support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses are deserving of the title "Best Product for SMEs" (June 2023).
This is confirmation for us that the approach we took worked well for our clients, and we take immense pride in our joint success.
We have proven our capability in partnering with the financial sector by utilizing our creativity and expertise in delivering high-quality systems and understanding each client's unique requirements and goals. Successful outcomes have been achieved for both our teams and, more importantly, NFG's customers thanks to our innovative mindset, collaborative approach, and capacity to handle complex challenges.
We understand that, as AI develops and grows, the combination of human ingenuity, wisdom, and experience with AI tools can result in even higher levels of project effectiveness and quality assurance. What distinguishes us and makes it possible for us to offer customized solutions for our clients in the financial sector is our creativity, adaptability, and deep industry know-how.
Over the years, our partnership with NFG has produced several successes, and we are happy to have had a hand in those triumphs. We will keep providing outstanding consulting and software design and development services and make sure that our clients' success and growth continue as we advance our collaboration. Together, we show that ITMAGINATION is a trustworthy and forward-thinking partner for businesses in the financial sector.
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