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Financial Institutions to be Badly Hit by Software Glitches in 2013

By SiliconIndia   |  
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Bangalore: Banks and other financial services to be badly hit by software glitches in 2013, reported Leo Kelion on bbc.co.uk.

The Faster Payment System of the Lloyds Banking Group which was designed to speed up the process of cash transfer was hit hard by a glitch which delayed wage and bill payments. PayPal users faced duplicate charges when the company’s instant payment notification malfunctioned. In yet another technical glitch, Bats Global experienced a system issue which resulted in over 4000,000 trades failing to fulfill their best- price guarantee.

Many of us now question: what has led to such failures? Lev Lesokhin, Strategy Chief at Cast blames the complexity of the business software used by the institutions as the cause of the glitches. "Modern computer systems are so complicated you would need to perform more tests than there are stars in the sky to be 100% sure there were no problems in the system," he explains. "Business software is becoming increasingly complex, composed of sub-systems written in different programming languages, on different machines by disparate teams.This means no single person, or even group of people, can ever fully understand the structure under the key business transactions in an enterprise. Testing alone is no longer a viable option to ensure dependable systems."

Mr. Lesokhin also feels that the economic crisis is also a major reason as this forces the institution to reduce the budget and thereby giving lesser importance to modernization as well as quality assurance.

Michael Lafferty, Chairman, Lafferty Group, feels that with many banking applications still based on the Common Business- Oriented Language, many of the new generation developers are unfamiliar with the coding.

The use of third party software also poses many challenges. "When it's outsourced you can't make changes to the code," says Ralph Silva, Vice President of Banking Strategy, HfS Research. The only solution is to make changes to their own code and this adds to the risks.


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