Give us an overview of the financial software testing market in India and what are the latest trends in this space?
The Indian market has undergone tremendous change in the last 5 years as far as specialist services like financial software testing is concerned. Earlier software testing was viewed as activity under the development stage, which was supported by the in-house testing teams. However, with the resource cost going up significantly, financial institutions in the country are looking at outsourcing their software testing needs. For instance, earlier most banks were running homegrown applications, but with IT budgets shrinking they are looking at the SaaS model to bring down their cost. Also, as the growth in Internet and mobile banking clients continues it has created niche players focusing on security and performance testing for such applications.
How important is financial software testing compared to any other kind of software testing?
Many financial applications are mission critical and any stoppage in operations can affect millions of people depending on the services. Inaccuracies in interest, balance calculations or error in statements can create havoc with loyalty of the clients and well as make credibility of the bank a suspect. Recently the Supreme court passed a ruling that any error in balance calculation post ATM withdrawal, the bank has to pay interest to the concerned individual for all the days till the problem is rectified. This move helps us to understand the pervasiveness of such errors and the impact on individuals, corporates and the financial institutions.
With increasing efforts to bring in financial inclusion, it is evident that any such problems will not be tolerated when it affects the common man and banks are expected to run error free systems. Circuit breakers malfunctioning in a stock exchange can bring all trading activities in the country to stand still and can result in significant loss to the market. Examples like this help us to understand the criticality of quality in such systems as well as cost of quality.
How has the growth of financial software testing been so far in India and how will it be in the near future?
This market is expected to grow exponentially in the coming 2-3 years. The plans for creating dedicated National payment Gateway connecting all banks will create need for testing not only the gateway but all associated services which will be linked through this. Though market size is not well defined yet, our assessment is that in 2011-12 it is around $35-50M and growing. And the market includes not only public sector banks, private banks, exchanges (stock & commodity), Non banking financial companies but product companies based in India as well as MNC organizations having their IT/BPO operations in India. Currently some of the top public sector banks, private sector banks as well as stock exchanges in India are our customers.
What is Thinksoft's strategy and growth plans for the near future?
Being focused on the BFSI niche and with a track record of testing for Fortune 50 financial institutions, we are poised to take advantage of the growing need for testing in Indian market using our Competency Center and Shared Services (CCSS) Model to support large clients. This helps us to deliver smarter testing solutions faster and cheaper. As an End to End Testing solutions provider, our expertise is not only in domain based functional testing but also in building Knowledge repositories (both domain and product wise), risk prioritized regression suites and business intelligence testing solutions. Additionally, we offer non functional testing comprising of infrastructure testing, performance testing and security testing.