Anatomy of POS Testing and why we need it?


There are three elements of POS system testing: local server, POS terminal, and enterprise server. The local or store server contains valuable data on transactions of the POS terminals.

It is externally and internally linked with the POS applications and enterprise level server. For this reason, it requires interface testing, recovery testing, and business intelligence and analytics testing.

The POS terminal is comprised of various functionalities associated with a POS terminal, such as functioning of a device and printers, check reader, barcode reader, scanner and other performance attributes.

Finally, the enterprise server requires the same testing activities as the local server, such as interface and recovery testing.

Types of testing to be done

Proper POS software  are tested on two different levels and require system testing, report testing, system integration testing, BI testing, and compliance testing. POS testing may be performed either by using automated tools or manually.

Issues with Manual Testing

Multiple configurations require a lot of time, cost and efforts to prepare and manually execute. There are many test cases, all types of settings, configuration and scenarios, some of which turn out to be invalid. Often, there are issues from the customer’s point of view.

Peripheral issues involve those associated with the peripheral devices connected to a POS terminal such as printers, scanners, and barcode readers.

Complex Interfaces: A POS system inherits large amount of complexities due to involvement of numerous types of internal and external connections.

Test Environment set up & Maintenance: A POS system has lots of hardware/ peripheral devices, which may require a large amount of space under the test environment. What is more, it may not always be possible to maintain and keep all these devices updated with view to the cost, time and efforts needed.

Upgrades: software needs constant upgrade as per continuous and quick technological advancement.

PCI Compliance: Any process must adhere to PCI Compliance in terms of organization, storing and process debit/credit card information access for security purposes.

Pros and Cons of Automatic POS Testing

Automation is an effective alternative to manual execution of POS system testing considering its wide variety of benefits, which include reduction in time and cost, bug tracking, customized reports, and increased coverage and consequently quality. However, automatic POS testing is not without its disadvantages.

One disadvantage involves customized user interface, which the automation tools and Dynamic User interface don’t always recognize. It is often affected by the changing business requirements and needs changes and maintenance of automated regression test suite.

Peripheral devices need to be automated, which requires them to be operated by a human being. A scanner & barcode reader as well as swiping cards need to be used.

The plethora of configuration and interaction with various external and internal types of interfaces with various systems may result in increasing complexity. Moreover, taking into account the involvement of multiple terminals, standards, platforms, hardware and software, it seems an arduous task to design and maintain test cases.

The above obstacles may be overcome with proper and effective strategy and implementation along with intervention of experienced automation personnel.

Sample Test Cases for POS used in Retail

Proper POS software testing is indispensible in order to ensure quality of the POS system. POS testing includes:

  • Test Cases
  • Test Scenario
  • Test the entry of items purchased by a customer is correct
  • Cashier activity
  • Verify store value cards can be used
  • Check petty cash management works as expected
  • Test discounts are applied correctly
  • Check cash drawer loans are handled properly
  • Test the POS system is compatible with peripherals like RFID Reader, Bar Code Scanner etc.
  • Check totals and closings match

Payment Gateway Processing

Payment Gateway Processing involves the following:

  • Test the validity of CVV number of Credit Card
  • Verify that the captured card details are properly encrypted and decrypted
  • Test swiping of cards from both sides and chips


In sales, a person checks for a regular sale process and for loyalty membership purchase. Check sales can be processed with debit/credit cards. The right prices need to be displayed for merchandise purchased. There are also the following options:

  • Tie UPC or barcodes to vendors
  • Test for “0” or null transaction
  • Test for billing details or shipping details in payment manager
  • Test the print format of the receipt generated
  • Test for reference transaction
  • Verify that the correct code is generated for approved, held or declined transactions

Return & Exchange scenarios

In terms of return and exchange, you need to make sure the in-house inventory is well integrated with other outlets or supply chain. Moreover, you need to:

  • Check whether system responds on exchange or return of an item with a credit card
  • Check for exchange or return of an item with cash
  • Verify that system should allow entering bar-code manually incase scanner don’t work
  • Check system process the sale with receipt or without a receipt
  • Verify system display both the current amount as well as the discount amount on an exchange of item if applicable


Performance checks establish how long it takes to get a response or send a request. You need to check the extent, to which transaction-based rules are applicable (tax, discounts, rebates etc.) You also need to verify that the correct code is generated for approved, held or rejected transactions.

Negative Scenarios

  • Test with an invalid PIN for credit card
  • Test system with expired card details
  • Check the inventory by entering a wrong code for the item
  • Test for a negative transaction
  • Check how a system responds while entering a wrong invoice number
  • Test the response of system while entering an invalid date for promotional offers online items

Managing Promotions and Discounts

To manage discounts and promotions, you test the system for various discounts like seasonal discounts, a veteran discount. Other aspects of this testing include:

  • Test alert system that notifies end or beginning of seasonal offers
  • Test system for various promotional offers on certain line items
  • Test whether receipt print the exact discount or offers that are leveraged
  • Test the order management process
  • Verify product data obtained after scanning a barcode is accurate
  • Test system for allocating wrong offers or discount online item


Retail POS demands a high level of testing because its performance and correct functioning directly affect your business income. Testing under extreme conditions is essential to reduce the risk of POS failure during the transaction process.