Westpac looks to blockchain, robots and drones in fight for the future
“Blockchain is a technology that is clearly disruptive, but what it will be we don’t know. We do know that $970 million has been spent on blockchain by fintechs,” Curran said. Right now he likens blockchain to Napster – pioneering technology – not necessarily the end point.
The tech expo and board update is part of Curran’s bid to ensure he and his team are recognised by the bank as “game-changing technologists”.
But it’s not all toys and what-ifs.
Tess (Test Enabling Super Simulator) developed in association with tech firm Infosys, is testing new systems and updates – making sure human interfaces such as ATMs, keyboards, note counters and the like work properly when a software change is rolled out.
It does in three days what previously took Westpac’s human testers 30.
Curran said Tess allows more significant regression testing before introducing a system change. Regression testing is a process of seeking out new bugs in software and finding where problems in systems may be worsening.
“Most system problems are change-related. This replaces manually intensive testing, and allows us to test further down,” Curran said.
He said that the robot, only recently deployed, had paid for itself already, and would overcome testing issues which had in the past held up the rate of automation in the retail bank.