Enova International Inc., a pioneer in online lending, develops financial products for consumers and businesses. Their ability to leverage the latest technology to out-innovate their competitors has led to a meteoric growth since starting in Chicago ten years ago. One of their biggest challenges? Finding a way to maintain regulatory compliance that can keep pace with their speed of innovation.
State, federal and international regulations dictate the types of loans Enova is able to offer, the loan terms, and how those terms must be communicated to the consumer during the application process. These regulations are constantly changing, and can vary wildly even between similar loan products offered in different US states. Add to that the steady cycle of new and updated loan products, and you have the perfect definition of a moving target.
In an environment of constant change, static tests fail
The traditional way companies ensure compliance is by creating static tests, which mimic the actions of a user navigating through a web site. These tests essentially say, “Click this, then expect this.” They are labor-intensive to build and require significant developer resources; once created, very little code can be reused for the next loan product that needs testing. They also don’t take into account business logic such as which US state the applicant resides in, the loan product being tested, or even which version of the website to test. In Enova’s case, this “traditional solution” would have left them with brittle monolithic tests that would be difficult and expensive to maintain. It was time to call in a testing expert: SPR Consulting.
When you can’t build tests fast enough, create a platform that can
The solution was clear: rather than creating static tests for each loan product, create a platform that streamlines the test-building process, and enables non-technical staff to maintain the tests so they reflect rapid changes in the websites. With these goals in mind, SPR Consulting devised the Compliance Automation Platform (CAP).
The CAP system enables developers to craft complex test suites fine-tuned to Enova’s business domain in a fraction of the time it would take to develop a traditional test. It’s built and deployed with popular open source tools already in use at Enova. Best of all, CAP allows non-technical staff to maintain the bulk of these tests using a simple web interface.
Understanding the internal workflow makes tools more effective
Step one in building an automated solution is to understand the company’s business and how different players interact with one another. It became clear that there were several groups involved in maintaining compliance that needed to work together in order to succeed. SPR proposed a new workflow in which the Legal, Compliance, and Development teams would share responsibility for managing compliance.
Simple processes are always most sustainable
Tests are run via another web interface, which provides users with full control over running any combination of compliance checks manually or on a schedule. Test results are presented for each loan product offered in each state; each result calls out pages which don’t agree with the Legal department’s idea of compliance, complete with line numbers within offending files, links to relevant screenshots, audit logs and other artifacts. All artifacts are saved so prior test results are easily accessible.
If you build it, they will run… more tests for other projects
The flexibility of the CAP system allows it to be quickly adapted to test any new website. With little more than configuration file changes, it was ready to monitor Enova loan sites in the UK and Australia. Enova now has a built-in method for managing compliance on all its loan products that is easy to update and easy to run, so they can concentrate on their core strength – innovation.