ATM Testing Software Best Practice: Virtualization - (Part 2)

In part one of this series, we looked at how virtualization technology can be used to abstract the application software running on an ATM away from its hardware components to deliver a number of high level benefits, including deployment flexibility, remote accessibility, operational efficiency, increased security and reduced costs. All good things.

But the real reason that organizations test their ATMs is to ensure that they deliver the best experience for consumers on every transaction. 

Despite dire predictions about its extinction, the ATM channel remains a critical component in the omnichannel banking strategy necessary to support today’s sophisticated financial service consumers.

Taking ATM Testing to the Next Level

Moving to a virtualized environment for ATM testing provides a platform for building additional capabilities. Paragon has specifically developed its VirtualATM solution to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by virtualization. Once we have separated the ATM application from its physical hardware, testing can be elevated to the next level, ensuring that you can deliver the products and services your consumers want perfectly every time.

Automation

According to the 2022 State of Test Automation report from Perfecto: “The biggest advantage of automation testing over manual testing is that it allows for more testing in less time. It increases productivity and expands how much you can test.”

The Paragon VirtualATM solution allows test scripts to be recorded and scheduled for playback whenever it is convenient. This capability helps to ensure that tests are run and re-run correctly every time so that the results are repeatable and verifiable. Test results, including receipt images can be easily achieved electronically for future reference.

The recorded tests can be captured and organized for use in automated regression testing that can be scheduled to be at any time or frequency.

Recorded tests can also be used for performance and load testing, helping to ensure that device drivers, authorization systems and other channel infrastructure operates correctly when under stress.

Deeper Insight

The VirtualATM platform allows validation of the entire ATM software stack via the XFS layer, providing visibility to XFS commands and messages that were not previously accessible when testing manually.

This means that a wide variety of ATM fault conditions related to card readers, PIN Pads, note dispensers, etc. can be tested without risk of damage to the expensive physical ATMs. The Paragon VirtualATM simulator includes a significant number of pre-configured fault conditions out of the box, as well as the ability for users to configure their own fault scenarios, helping to ensure error conditions are always handled correctly.

Integration

Many organizations are still struggling to deliver the true omnichannel banking experience needed to capture and retain consumers who want anytime, anywhere access to financial products and services. Success here requires that the ATM channel be fully integrated across the enterprise, something that is not possible using physical ATMs for testing. VirtualATM includes a RESTful API that enables programmatic interaction with the ATM images by developers or by other enterprise systems, such as a CI/CD pipeline.

Better Testing – Better Results

Despite dire predictions of its extinction, the ATM channel is still one of the most important ways for consumers to engage with and interact with their financial institution. At the same time, the industry has clearly entered a time of slower growth, lower margins and more competition.

Virtualization technology enables better ATM testing that can play a key role in helping ATM deployers increase productivity, improve quality, and speed time to market - while at the same time cutting operational costs and improving the overall experience for consumers. 

Would you like to hear more about how virtualization technology can help your organization? Request a consultation from our team of ATM testing experts today.

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