There was a time when we lined up on a Friday to draw enough cash from over the bank counter to see us through until Monday. Now it is quite possible to go entire weeks without using cash at all.
The digital transformation of business has raised consumer expectations such that they expect to be able to pay for everything—from pizzas to plane tickets—without having to open their wallets. The demand for truly secure, effortless, seamless, faultless digital transactions puts pressure on developers to produce perfect POS software.
To deliver a product that is both functional and secure requires the highest standards of POS testing. Working hand-in-hand with developers, the QA team must construct a test suite that is reliable, scalable and customizable, easily maintained and meets industry standards for audit and security responsibilities.
POS testing is vital to the uninterrupted flow of the digital economy.
What Is Point of Sale (POS) System
POS, or point of sale is the place where customers make payments for services or products at your store. In simple words, every time a customer buys something, he/she is completing a point of sale transaction.
The POS software serves as the central component for businesses- it is like a hub where different verticals like inventory management, sales, supply chain, payment processing and customer management all merge together.
Since POS systems are highly complex and intricately integrated with multiple systems, a robust testing schedule is important to ensure that there are no issues during transactions.
Why POS Testing Is Critical
POS applications operate at a delicate nexus between the life blood of the retail sector and the personal finances of consumers. That is not a place where mistakes are forgiven and forgotten. Your enterprise’s reputation is at risk with every service outage, security hack and failure to connect. That is why POS testing must be implemented with the same importance as product development.
As with all financial applications, the emphasis lies in achieving accuracy and security. When the number of POS services extends from store fronts to mobile devices and on through software apps by tech giants such as Google, Apple and Amazon, there are a lot of moving API parts under consideration. Retailers want all these avenues available so they can draw from an increasingly fractured personal finance industry, and they expect your product to deliver.
That is a heavy load to bear, and it requires expert attention. Any reliable POS testing must provide high-grade processes and templates for risk evaluation, API automation to test backend services, performance testing and exhaustive security and penetration testing.
It is a process that must be integrated into your development workflow right from project onset.
How POS Testing Can Integrate With your Development Workflow
This need for balancing innovation with performance, without sacrificing speed of delivery, is the impetus behind the rise of the Agile methodology of software production at large. The prevailing approach to app development and testing holds that a close partnership between developers and testers creates better products faster through a continuous cycle of design, coding, testing and analysis. It is designed to evolve with the product, incorporating changes early in the SDLC to save time and resources. And this approach is ideal for high-stakes POS products.
It takes an experienced QA tester to deliver within that dynamic environment. They have to stand as an equal alongside your development team and your business team, helping to build a test suite that is responsive to ongoing development while being robust enough to ensure innovation does not lead to product weakness.
It is not a task that can be thrust upon your in-house IT or development teams. If you want to meet the highest standards of POS requirements you need a dedicated POS testing expert.
How to Automate POS Testing
By implementing automation in software testing practices, businesses can deliver high quality software while keeping costs low. A POS automation strategy should be designed following the best practices of automation testing, in conjunction with the requirements of the POS system. Following are some of the pointers to creating an effective automation framework:
Selecting the Right ToolChoosing the right automation tool holds the keys to the success of any project. The first step of the process is to define the purpose of the test run, which may include running smoke test, regression test, or providing feedback by viewing log files to understand the success or failure of the suite. Once these requirements are well defined testers can review a tool and make a selection based on cost effectiveness. For instance, an omni channel retailer can have the following considerations while choosing an automation tool:
- What is the operating system he wants to test, and which language or WPF application will he operate?
- How easy is it to provide input test data for load tests?
- What kind of testing( unit, functional, regression) is he looking for, and will the tool maximize the ROI?
Establishing the Framework
The next step of the process is to establish a framework with a predefined set of processes which interacts between the different components on which scripts can be designed and deployed. For a framework to be reused, it needs to be robust and portable. Being aware of the challenges of the dynamic UI and custom UI objects on the website will help in creating an effective framework while keeping costs low.
Run Test Scenarios
Users must be aware what tests need to be run manually, and what can be automated. In case of automation tests, iterating processes can be ideal. For the tests to run seamlessly on different hardware and software platforms and configurations, basic uniformity must be maintained throughout to ensure portability and robustness.
Interaction with Third-party ToolsThe success of an automation testing framework depends on how well it interacts with third-party tools to accommodate fluctuating business needs. A POS application interacts with multiple systems like audit, e-commerce, merchandising. While this increases the complexities of the tests, it also demands intense validation of system performance. Proper configuration of test management tools and maintaining extensive reports is critical for creating a flexible and scalable automation framework for POS.
Why It Pays to Outsource Your POS Testing
Think about external QA providers and financial domain experts. They can guide you through what is one of the most heavily regulated and wildly diverse industries in need of software solutions.
You need a QA partner that can address all your financial domain pain points:
Security, Regulations and Compliance
Financial portals and points of exchange are high-value targets for hackers. In opposition, the financial industry is constantly rolling out new security and compliance measures and regulations. Your application needs the attention of experts in the field who know the current best practices and protocols and can deliver to market a product that can withstand both industry and consumer demands.
Payment and Banking Confidence
Consumers expect the same levels of confidence, reliability and ease of use from their digital POS apps as they do from brick-and-mortar institutions. Delivering on this expectation without unduly complicating the customer experience requires an expert understanding of how UI and back-end systems integrate.
Careful consideration of app infrastructure, connectivity and back-end integration during testing is the best way to guard against reputation-risking product failures. Digital POS is built on instant, constant, universal access, and only the correct implementation of stress and load tests will guarantee such performance.
The Need for Versatility
POS testing hinges on the ability to deliver a product that can handle the volume and variance of API requirements. Few industries are as reliant on a convergence of technologies as the financial domain is, and your QA professional needs to be able to deliver interfaces that meet functionality, reliability, performance and security expectations.
When you onboard a dedicated QA service, you rapidly ramp up the potential, experience and capacity of your own team. By leveraging the resource and time savings of investing in an offshore QA provider, you can enjoy the benefits of that expanded capacity without sacrificing product ROI.
POS applications involve such complex configurations that it is important to put testing in the hands of experienced engineers. POS technology and standards move too rapidly for inexperienced QA testers to understand. Aim high, for a secure and seamless user experience, with the help of an expert QA team.
QASource’s team of retail application testing engineers can ease all your concerns about retail and POS-related functionality. They can guide you through the current industry thinking on test creation, execution, and maintenance, and help deliver a product that can survive the realities of the digital marketplace. Contact us today for a free quote, or call +1.925.271.5555 to get started.