Connie Driscoll, SpokespersonIn competitive businesses like retail, the crucial role played by point-of-sale systems (POS) in carrying out retail transactions effortlessly anywhere cannot be understated. However, testing a POS system is entirely different from testing any other software or hardware equipment for that matter. For one, it involves the examination of not just the software but also the hardware as the POS system has many peripherals attached— scanner, cash-drawer, mobile panels, pin pad, and other input-output devices.
The testing of such complex hardware and software platforms is no less a challenge. For instance, pin pads often have unique encoding encryption, and it comes with an encrypted key, which is impossible to mimic with software simulation or emulation. Only an actual physical device with a pin pad can verify the transactions. Enter Rhiscom, a leading POS retail software developer that leverages robotics to provide a fully automated POS regression testing system—ATaaS (Automated Testing as a Service).
Started in 1998, Rhiscom has been assisting the retail community in North and Latin America with quality assurance tasks in POS testing. The A.T.a.a.S. technology uses specialized tools and systems to emulate all types of peripherals in a testing environment. For test cases that require interaction with a payment device, Rhiscom offers its Guest Payment Device (GPD) that uses a robotic arm to automate the entry of pin pad keystrokes and touchscreen mobile phone payments, thereby, wholly supporting unattended execution of test scripts.
The robot can draw a signature, operate a keyboard entering either a PIN or an amount or selecting any other key. It can read data from magnetic stripe readers, credit cards, and newer chip cards. Rhiscom has a housing unit that can test cards with chips, and interpret data from 32 EMV chip cards at the same time in a test plan without any human intervention. The A.T.a.a.S. Testing tools support every known POS platforms like Apple, Windows, NCR, Toshiba, HP, Oracle, 4690 OS, Linux, etc.
According to Connie Driscoll, the founder and CEO of Connie Driscoll Associates, a Rhiscom distributor in the U.S., one of the key highlights of this system is that one doesn’t need the real peripherals in the POS lab for testing. Rhiscom supplies all the emulated peripherals which are the same and takes no space, making the entire process streamlined. Automated testing cycles are completed in hours with improved efficiency and accelerated Time to Market. There is also an increase in quality and test coverage, which is conducted in a reliable and consistent manner.
Unlike other testing tools, Rhiscom has an integrated system that provides a coverage of 95 percent of test cases in a test plan
Rhiscom had started their business by focusing on the top 100 retailers, and now their system is implemented by customers that include three of the largest retail organizations of the world. Liverpool, a large department store chain in Mexico, took three weeks to manually process 220 cases with a QA headcount of seven. After using Rhiscom’s A.T.a.a.S. solution, this process takes a few hours with a QA headcount of two.
“We address problems by testing both hardware and software; unlike other testing tools, Rhiscom has an integrated system that provides a coverage of 95 percent of test cases in a test plan and sometimes, more than that,” says Connie. With installations in Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, and the U.S., Rhiscom’s future planning involves expanding to the Europe and Asian markets. The organization is also interested in serving outside the retail landscape like ATMs, where any bank that utilizes POS services with multiple hardware components can perform testing with the A.T.a.a.S. technology.