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Wirecard FINsim

Asb Bank

Background

ASB Bank must deliver a banking service that maintains nearly 100% availability 365 days of the year to its customers. The ability to conduct accurate testing is critical to achieving such high availability. ASB Bank’s testing requirements span everything from new code and new functionality to analyzing system performance under different loads and testing individual system components such as switches and databases.

Challenge

Before implementing Wirecard’s FINsim, the bank relied on manual testing strategies. These were successful mainly for testing the patience of ASB Bank staff. It was not uncommon for software changes to take three or four production attempts before success was achieved, with each failed attempt resulting in an early morning rollback.

ASB Bank deployed Wirecard’s FINsim to achieve an automated testing strategy that ensured a seamless progression from software development into production, slashing time and cost to market.

Requirements

For ASB Bank, an important component of Wirecard FINsim is its ability to help avoid downtime and reductions when volumes are high by tracking the system requirements needed to guarantee timely transaction processing.

ASB Bank also uses Wirecard FINsim to automate routine testing, using its scripting capability to literally cut weeks off the repetitive effort associated with traditional manual testing. The stress feature of Wirecard FINsim allows ASB Bank to review switch hardware performance, memory use, ceilings, various link strategies, middleware and general tuning.

Solution

ASB Bank can now accurately predict the results and behavior of its production system during load increases, especially during times of possible sustained peaks such as major holidays. In New Zealand, a two-hour outage of the EFTPOS network could equate to 800,000 transactions that cannot be processed by EFTPOS. ASB Bank can profile holiday peaks and adjust with the stroke of a mouse to generate any load profile it likes.

Wirecard FINsim provides ASB Bank with an extremely accurate stress test environment to simulate capacity and growth.

To detect any weak links, ASB Bank makes use of destructive testing. This identifies bottlenecks, which are normally very hard to find. Similarly, Wirecard FINsim makes it easy to detect memory leaks, which are traditionally difficult to find and isolate. Intuitive error handling graphically describes what every test is, and what went wrong.

Using Wirecard FINsim to collect statistics, ASB Bank then applies Excel to the data to produce easily interpreted graphs. In this way the bank looks at trend analysis, scatter graphs, peak, deviation and any other capacity modelling component as needed.

Result

ASB Bank Application Manager Infrastructure & Services Solutions Don Orr says that Wirecard FINsim has brought a new level of confidence to ASB Bank, and what has been tested will actually run without problems in production.

“With an understanding of card messaging and a small amount of training, the user can begin to see the benefits of consistency, reduced time and effort, and accurate meaningful results which will significantly reduce the cost of software development around applications involved in financial switching,” he says.

Future plans include the linking of additional tools to the detailed logging within Wirecard FINsim to improve the automation of individual link reconciliation. This reconciliation confirms that what was sent has been received.

“In our normal test environment, this is a manual and very time-consuming task. Logging views which can then be compared to other logging facilities enable us to rapidly isolate and identify problems”, Orr says.

He says that ASB Bank has improved its ability to baseline and regression test new code and new functionality by ‘several orders of magnitude’. Any upgrade of an application version can be accurately compared to its predecessor, which means ASB Bank can meet contractual obligations to deliver better quality and better performance.

ASB Bank recently carried out a rapid upgrade of infrastructure just before the busiest time of the year. The peak period came and went without any problems. The bank now plans to jump straight from version 3.0 of its Open/2 switch code to version 6.0.

“It’s a big ask as we have seen some major architectural changes with the new product. Wirecard FINsim will enable us to achieve this with little or no impact on our production environment,” says Orr.