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Why ISO 8583 is So Complex, and the Benefits of Automated Testing

Steve Gilde March 2, 2023
Why ISO 8583 is So Complex, and the Benefits of Automated Testing

ISO 8583 is the globally adopted messaging standard for financial transactions, particularly in the payment card industry. However, despite its long history and widespread use, the standard has become confusing due to its complexity and numerous options and permutations. 

In this blog, we discuss some of the reasons why ISO 8583 is so complex and how automated testing can help simplify the testing process for organizations who use the standard to process payments.

Why is ISO 8583 Complex?

  • Flexibility: ISO 8583 is certainly flexible, allowing organizations to tailor financial transaction messages to their specific needs. However, this also leads to many possible variants of these messages, making it difficult to understand all the options and how to properly construct and interpret them.

  • Evolution>: ISO 8583 has undergone several revisions since its first publication in 1987, each adding new features and options, making the standard more complex and difficult to track changes. Making things even more difficult to manage, organizations who support their own version of the standard have update cycles that range from quarterly to bi-annually.>

  • Diverse Applications: ISO 8583 is used in various industries and for different types of financial transactions, making it challenging for users to understand its application to their specific needs.

The Benefits of Automated Testing

Much of the payment industry still relies on manual processes for testing financial messages and transactions, an approach that has become increasingly inefficient, time-consuming, and expensive.

Introducing automation by using testing tools specifically designed for processing and validating issuer and acquirer transaction flows can simplify the testing process and provide a user-friendly interface for constructing and interpreting these messages. 

Automating the most common testing scenarios saves time and allows for developers and testers to focus on more complex and higher-value tasks.

The Web FASTest platform by Paragon Application Systems automates the testing process and offers 24x7 global access to an enterprise-level testing environment, making operational processes more flexible and efficient.

Book a consultation today to learn more about how automation can simplify your testing operations.

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