I was watching HGTV the other night when I had what I could describe as an out-of-body experience.
As is typical, I was also reading a book while watching the show, half paying attention during the program and then focusing on the book during the many commercials.
I was into the book when it dawned on me that they were actually saying something interesting on the tube (do we still say “tube?”) about a new show. By the time I had recovered enough to pay attention, the only detail I had was the name of the program.
I happen to have that cable provider who offers a voice remote, but I have never really warmed to the idea of speaking to my television (and no, I do not have any digital assistants and I have never spoken to Siri, Alexa, Cortana or Bixby). I am still very much a keyboard and mouse kind of guy.
I have stated that I usually don’t pay attention to the commercials, but I have heard the voice remote advertisements in the background so many times, I couldn’t help but pick up the basics. So there I was, just me and the remote and the name of a new program I wanted to watch. The was only one thing to do. I pressed the microphone button and said: "Show me…”
After about 2 seconds, the screen displayed the name of the program, along with a brief synopsis, the channel and the date/time of the next episode. Additionally, I got thumbnail descriptions of previous episodes, a “record the program” button, as well as suggestions about other similar programs.
Overall, the experience was fast, efficient and delivered exactly what I was looking for – plus more.
Please do not tell my wife or kids about this.
Future Payment Testing Possibilities
Now I know that the cable company operates in a very much more controlled environment, but this got me thinking about how payments testing might advance in the future.
Payment processing today is really a very complex environment, with literally thousands of different combinations of brands and devices and networks and host computers and message formats. And, things are going to get more complicated before they get less so, e.g. more payment options, more payment capable devices, more payment players, more new technology, etc. The payments business is still hot right now and will not cool off anytime soon.
How might technologies like Voice and AI and even VR impact and improve payments testing in the future?
- What if the future state test system had access to all the most current versions of device, network and brand specifications and could automatically assemble transactions, including all of the necessary data elements, according to the appropriate specs?
- What if you could say a command and have the system build your transactions? “Show me an inbound mag stripe purchase transaction from Visa”, and then maybe “Show me the same transaction as an EMV contact item” and then “Show me the same item as EMV contactless.”
- What if one system could be used to certify with any of the networks or brands or acquirers?
- What if you could take a VR “trip” down the transaction path from the point of initiation, through authentication and authorization and all the way back to the POI, with the ability to “see” and immediately correct any errors.
- What if the system maintained a permanent record of all tests that would be logged (using Blockchain technology?) and made available to any of the participants in that particular transaction
While fun to think about today, such a future state scenario is certainly years away and will require significant investment. However, the current payment testing and certification model is not sustainable as we move toward an IoT environment. In addition to all of the traditional POS systems, ATMs and smartphones that currently process payment transactions, we could be adding 10 million connected cars, 10 million smart televisions, nearly 10 million online washing machines and another 8 million internet-capable refrigerators that get sold every year – just in the US.
Clearly, things will have to change to accommodate this significant expansion of the payments domain.
However things shape up for the future, Paragon already has some great solutions to help get your organization started down the path toward payments automation, integration, and intelligent testing
If you have any comments or suggestions or would like to talk about what the future of testing might look like, send me an email. Sorry, no voice assistant yet!