Nationwide Building Society accelerates test automation journey with BrowserStack

Nationwide Building Society accelerates test automation journey with BrowserStack

Industry
Banking and ‎financial services
Location
Swindon, England
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Introduction

Nationwide Building Society (NBS) is a British mutual financial institution, the seventh largest cooperative financial institution, and the largest building society in the world with over 16 million members. Its headquarters are in Swindon, England.

To test their mobile app and website, the team at NBS initially used an in-house solution, hosting a few physical devices in their office. These devices were accessed remotely by QA teams in the UK and India. Though the solution served its purpose for a while, it had its own challenges. This pushed the team to look for cloud-based solutions. After evaluating a few, the team decided to use BrowserStack and was surprised at the uptake.

QA, Engineering, Marketing, and multiple other teams used BrowserStack to test new features, compatibility, and how new content would render on different devices. This, coupled with an increase in test automation, improved quality and cut down testing time, while checking the boxes for security, flexibility, and ease of use.

The challenge

A remote-friendly testing solution that is flexible, secure and maintenance-free

With the on-premise solution, a team member would have to physically access the device and troubleshoot whenever there was a problem. This became a significant blocker when the team switched to remote work during the pandemic. Accessing devices hosted in the Swindon office to troubleshoot issues was no longer possible.

Additionally, there was a long and tedious procurement process to add a new device to their farm. A case had to be made for new devices to be bought, which would then be installed and continually maintained. Besides, automating testing on physical devices is incredibly difficult, slowing the team’s journey to automation.

Realizing that a flexible, elastic cloud-based solution would be best suited to solve all their problems, the team evaluated several cloud-based test infrastructure providers. As banking is a heavily regulated industry, security and data handling were of utmost importance for NBS.

Their extensive search led them to BrowserStack – the best-of-the-breed solution that checked all the boxes for NBS.

“Browserstack’s regularly updated cloud with a wide range of browsers and devices is a flexible and efficient solution that helps us maintain quality levels our members expect.”
Tim Gould NBS
Tim Gould, Engineering Manager, NBS
The solution

Cloud-based cross-browser testing to supercharge the journey to test automation

Tim Gould, Engineering Manager at NBS recounts how the team initially underestimated the number of users who would be interested in BrowserStack. “We estimated about 60-70 users, but we currently have 193 people testing on BrowserStack. We didn’t contemplate how many people would find it useful,” he says.

“We found that Marketing and other departments wanted to use BrowserStack to test content. Earlier, we only had a small pool of browsers and devices on which they could try new content. But BrowserStack gave them instant access to any device-browser combination they wanted. They found it very compelling,” he adds.

NBS currently uses Browserstack to test their mobile app, internet banking solution, website, and content produced for members. They are also well on their way to meeting their test automation goals.

“We found that Marketing and other departments wanted to use BrowserStack to test content. Earlier, we only had a small pool of browsers and devices on which they could try new content. But BrowserStack gave them instant access to any device-browser combination they wanted. They found it very compelling.”
Tim Gould NBS
Tim Gould, Engineering Manager, NBS
The impact

Improved automation coverage, faster releases, enhanced experiences

The significant uptick in people using BrowserStack has directly impacted quality positively. “Our quality is going up. We now test against many different devices, especially the ones we couldn’t verify against before due to our small device pool. Browserstack’s regularly updated cloud with a wide range of browsers and devices is a flexible and efficient solution that helps us maintain quality levels our members expect,” says Tim.

Leveraging BrowserStack’s automation experience the team is steadily moving away from manual testing to test automation. “BrowserStack held our hand through our automation journey; every step of the way. Instead of reinventing the wheel and figuring out test automation, we just used BrowserStack Automate,” he adds.

Test automation, in turn, reduced testing time from days to hours and minutes. The team runs just the same test scripts across multiple browsers and devices, saving significant time and effort in the process. Release frequency, as a result, has gone up drastically.

The team also relies on BrowserStack’s comprehensive dashboard and reporting capabilities to stay agile and provide visibility to stakeholders. “We can produce reports instantaneously on BrowserStack, see what builds are running, what’s failed, what’s the automation percentage, and more. The process is much easier compared to our earlier manual report generation. Important information is available to us at all times,” says Tim.

Overall, in addition to improved quality and release frequency, testing experience as well as customer experience has been significantly enhanced at NBS. “We have always had good user feedback because we made sure to test on the right devices. But with BrowserStack, it is much easier. We can now maintain quality for more users with lower effort than before!”

“BrowserStack held our hand through our automation journey; every step of the way. Instead of reinventing the wheel and figuring out test automation, we just used BrowserStack Automate.”
Tim Gould NBS
Tim Gould, Engineering Manager, NBS

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