Testing Card Environments

An overview of testing in card. The first post of a series dedicated to software testing in this complex space.

Cards are an essential part of our daily lives.  Not the Hallmark variety, although they to have a role to play. Credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, POS, ATM, Internet Purchases.  The terminology and technology is vast, with many different points of interaction and potential failure.  

Any institution that deals in the card space, does so with a great deal of care.  There are many compliance, security and other standards that need to adhered to.  Code Magus has more than 15 years experience in all facets of testing in the card space.  Using technology that we have developed and refined over many years we are able to run non-functional and functional tests across the entire landscape.

A Simpler Time

When I started testing in the card space, it was a much simpler time.  Magnetic stripe cards were still the main force in the arena and testing and, although not child's play, did definitely not have the complexities we have today.  If we wanted to submit a transaction, you'd have to know certain details like the card number, expiry date, service code and security card and you'd be able to get through a substantial amount of testing.  

The Present

These days the magnetic strip is hardly used due to the ease of which fraudsters were able to duplicate cards or utilise their knowledge of the track details to swindle unsuspecting victims.  Banks and financial institutions spend more and more time and resources to make life more difficult for fraudsters and in so doing protect their clients and their own interest.

The increased focus on security has a necessary impact on testing and delivery, requiring more and more sophisticated and technical staff to develop, manage and test devices, infrastructure, software and services.

Testing is particularly difficult due to the enormous scope.  For example, in a typical card ecosystem there are back-end systems, front-end systems, account management systems, routing systems, customer information systems, Point-of-sale (POS) and Automated Teller Machines (ATM), physical cards, settlement activities and various card and interface formats.  With all this in mind it is difficult to know where and how to begin testing.

Code Magus is here to help you, whatever your requirement is.   We have been there and done that for many years and will accompany and guide you on your journey through the tricky waters of card.  We'll be posting more on this subject very soon.

Posted by
Stephen Donaldson


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