Maveric Systems provides quality assurance to UK’s Allica Bank

Allica Bank is a new generation bank focused on catering to the SME in the UK. Allica Bank was granted its UK banking license in September 2019 and has established offices in Milton Keynes and London.

Maveric Systems is an engineering services company founded in 2000. It works across digital platforms, banking solutions, data technologies, and regulatory systems. The company has a global presence across 15 countries with regional delivery capabilities in Bangalore, Chennai, Dubai, London, Mexico, Poland, Riyadh, and Singapore.

Project Details

This was a significant project for Maveric Systems as they assisted the newly formed Allica Bank through their launch. Maveric Systems leveraged their “Build-the-bank QE Model” for the Bank’s business launch. The program included modelling the QE approach, verification, and validation of core banking functionalities and capabilities. The service provider had to map and validate Allica’s accounting structure, provide documentation for the external audit team, and conduct live proving for launch readiness. It was a large-scale program with the involvement of all the departments within their banking division lasting over 12 months with go-live in October 2019. The program had the participation of about 22 team members from Maveric Systems.

Project Complexity:

This was a fairly complex program as the bank was developing its infrastructure from scratch. The building blocks for the program required the development of a test pyramid approach that cut across all areas of the bank coupled with new-age microservices architecture for banking products such as SME Loans & Deposit, Core banking, Treasury, Regulatory reporting, GL recognition, Payments, digital platforms (mobile and platform), middle-ware – API’s and MI Reporting. There were complexities within the GL Reconciliation process as all the contracts were taking up to 5 days to input into the core banking system.

Maveric Systems’ testing approach required the test design management of different modules along with real-time updates of test cases based on defect status changes in Jira. This was a time-consuming task that significantly took up operations time. For MI Reports’ testing, there were close to 250 KPIs which were fed into 8 reports. This activity required a differentiated approach as there were many unavoidable dependencies.

During the build, the bank had multiple vendors and modules for which testing was carried out. Without the appropriate process in place, the defects flowing around different streams of the bank and vendor management of assigned defects were a challenge. Also, the speed of requirements changes around RAML documents, and accelerations of the endpoints required a lot of effort to independently test each endpoint at every deployment.

Program Implementation

To tackle the above-mentioned complexities, Maveric Systems deployed test pyramid approach and shift-left automation. Allica Bank had devised a minimum viable product (MVP) for their IT readiness and faster market launch which was ably supported by Maveric’s Test pyramid approach through significant shift-left automation practices which included a BDD test automation framework.

The provider carried out extensive levels of early testing on the core banking product configuration capabilities of loans and deposits. Maveric Test team also carried out Liveproving across real-time business scenarios, ensuring product/environment configuration, environment setup and code deployment. For financial data and GL reconciliation, Maveric deployed its proven GL Recon accelerator to map and validate the data elements of the project. Along with Allica Bank’s Finance team, the accelerator was customized and tailored to suit Allica’s accounting structure for product level, category code level, and transaction code level.

Interestingly, Maveric innovated a new template specially customized for close of business (COB) management for Allica. These templates served as guidelines for daily COB Runs. Maveric used Zephyr tool compatible with JIRA for the effective management of tests. The tool allowed the testing team to develop a script that automatically updated the status of the test cases in Zephyr as and when the defect status is changed in the JIRA tool. The MI defect management complexity was addressed with Kanban boards. Defects were prioritized based on KPI/report priority. Also, API Testing Engine Framework handled all the endpoint testing at every deployment and offered early feedback to all stakeholders.

Program Governance

During the project, a ring-fenced squad was set up for conducting finance-led testing with a combination of Maveric’s finance testing consultants, test managers, Bank’s Finance team, Treasury team, and the project team. Daily stand-up meetings were organized with the team to enable focused discussions on the approach and execution strategy for finance testing. The Team was distributed across offshore and onsite locations, into batches to support round-the-clock finance testing.

Allica Bank engaged an external audit team for reassuring the quality of its business process, business operation, and the QA process. Maveric’s team assisted the audit by creating a walkthrough for the audit team on the test strategy, prepared test plans, maintenance of end-to-end traceability, test execution model, and the granularity on the test evidence captured. The team also demonstrated bi-directional tracing of requirements converting into test cases, test cases converting into results, and the failed test cases resulting in defect logging and retesting. Maveric further documented the methods and techniques adopted by the testing team to ensure accuracy of interest accruals, accounting entries, and functional flows in the core banking system.

After a detailed assessment and revalidation on the testing practices, procedures, and tool usage followed by Maveric team in Allica Bank, the External Audit team shared the audit report with no major non-compliance.

Project Impact

In total, 1800+ COB runs were executed flawlessly, including the real-time holiday calendar to time travel to the journey of the contract period, providing robust and extensive testing of all banking operations. Test Data creation was done using automated data injection utilities across all product lines in the bank, slashing test data management effort by up to 60%.  Build automated utilities enabled all endpoints consumed by the digital channels with the utility of notifying the performance of the microservices, thereby enhancing testing productivity by 20% and periodic regression tests of endpoints.

The project was well received by the Bank illustrated by the Audit report and reassurance on the standards maintained by Maveric QE team gave confidence to Allica’s executive committee for their successful banking license process.

Key Facts

Bank: Allica Bank
Bank Headquarters: United Kingdom
Solution partner: Maveric Systems
Timeline: 1 year with go-live in October 2019

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