Founded in Berlin in 2013, the mobile bank N26 has redesigned banking for the smartphone, making it easy, fast, transparent and contemporary. Opening an account only takes 8 minutes, fully digital and without any paperwork. N26 is available in 17 countries within the Eurozone, launching in the US and UK in 2018. More than 500,000 customers can manage overdrafts, withdraw cash in retail stores, send money abroad, do investments or savings, use an insurance service or apply for consumer credits fully digital within the N26 app.
“A lot of expats use our service because it’s available across Europe and we provide the app and documentation in English. We are also very popular with early adopters of technology. As N26 operates on a significant cost base than traditional banks, the competitive pricing is also very attractive to students," explains Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer Martyna Wojna.
Because of its smartphone-centric business model, two of N26’s core assets are its iOS and Android codebases. Two years ago, N26 had a small QA team, which manually tested new app features on around ten different phone models, and five different operating system versions, which was time consuming. “We wanted to automate our testing, especially as our codebase and feature set were growing,” says Wojna. "We knew that manual testing would become more time consuming and possibly slow down our release process." There were other factors making testing more complex, as different parts of the app are written in different languages.
Wojna and her colleagues wanted to use the Appium test automation framework for a proof of concept, because it let the team write test scripts in their chosen languages and can be run across both iOS and Android to simplify testing. And, because it’s a popular framework, the team knew that the documentation and user community would help them if they had problems during the integration.
Instead of running Appium tests on local devices, N26 chose Sauce Labs, which provides the framework on virtual devices in the cloud. “We had a choice: build an in-house device farm or look to the cloud. We’re a forward-thinking company, so using the cloud for mobile app testing was a logical choice,” says Wojna.
Today, they run one automated Android regression test a day, and they are in the process of fully integrating iOS testing. N26 has recently incorporated automated testing with one of the open source automation servers, which helps with the development team’s move to continuous integration (CI). “We’ve been very open and worked with our developers to make Sauce Labs part of our CI pipeline,” says Wojna. “This has made the transition to Sauce Labs easier and raised the profile of automated testing within N26."
N26 now uses up to 30 devices to test its apps. “The main benefits to our business are continuous releases and happier customers,” says Wojna. “Our automated testing framework on Sauce Labs identifies more bugs before release, meaning a better customer experience.”
For QA and development teams, the benefits are the time – and money – they save on complex manual tests, and greater confidence in the results of tests. “Using Sauce Labs saves us a lot of time. We can now focus more on doing creative work and understand our product better during exploratory testing, for example,” adds Wojna. “Our goal is to give QA engineers in each of our teams the ability to test the features built by that team in an automated way. The team is also working to get parallel tests running in order to save even more time. We’re happy to be on that journey with Sauce Labs.”