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Case Study: Advanced Test Automation in Petrol Environment (REPL and BP win Real IT Awards in U.K.)

An Award-Winning Payment Test Automation Project

BP operates a complex POS setup comprising of many different parts and processes. Every few weeks, BP upgrades its POS tools across the world. Consistent and fast quality control is essential in this process. This is why BP engaged REPL to enable test automation. This includes testing of payment cards, fuel cards and loyalty cards. A central piece of this payment test automation project was the automation of the transactions on payment terminals. This was solved in close collaboration with Abrantix, who provided their EFTPOS Terminal Testing Robots as part of the solution.

The efforts of REPL and BP were recognized at the Real IT Awards 2019, where BP and REPL won the award for Best Use of New Technologies. Our congratulations for this great achievement!

In the following you can find more information about this successful project.

Initial Position and Key Objectives

REPL had done a lot of work automating manual test scripts for BP over the course of 2018. A missing piece of that automation was automated processes for payment cards, fuel cards and loyalty cards testing. Testers were having to stop the existing test automation and manually input cards into payment devices and then enter pin numbers. This was something both REPL and BP wanted to overcome to make transactions faster, smoother and more efficient. Therefore, REPL was looking to see if it could also automate this part of testing. In addition, there was also a gap between BP’s point of sale (POS) automation and automatic reconciliation which required automation.

The overall objective of the project was to reduce costs for BP with keeping to the high quality the REPL test team had delivered to BP over the last 3-4 years.

Implementation

REPL asked these main questions about automating payment testing:

  • How can card insertion and PIN entry be automated?
  • How can the automation switch between different cards?

To automate card insertion and PIN entry, REPL chose Abrantix EFTPOS Terminal Testing Robots. The Abrantix robots can automate card insertion/ejection, PIN entry and any other arbitrary pressing of buttons. Integration with the test scripts was easy, since the robots provide a simple REST API that can be called during testing.

While the robots allowed the complete automation of a payment test, it was still not possible to switch cards between tests. This was a challenge, since testing is required not only for customary payment cards, but also for fuel cards and loyalty cards. Therefore, the automation needed to support magstripe cards and chip cards, and physical test cards had to be used. To solve this challenge, REPL chose Abrantix Contact Card Multiplexers and Chip and Magstripe Probes. Each multiplexer can hold up to 16 chip cards, which can be routed to the probe. Alternatively, the probe can also be fed with arbitrary magstripe track data. To allow for more than 16 chip cards, the multiplexers can be cascaded. Again, integration with the test scripts was easy, since the multiplexer and also the probe provide a simple REST API that can be called during testing.

This test setup can run automated tests unattended and overnight and is highly scalable. Here is a video of the solution by REPL:

The next step in this project is the addition of automated testing of contactless payments.

Outcome

This innovative project met the overall objective and provided the following benefits:

  • Man-hours required to test a release have decreased significantly, which resulted in direct cost savings for BP
  • Number of testers could be reduced significantly, which resulted in direct cost savings for BP
  • Testers could move away from arduous manual regression testing and move onto more interesting tasks such as writing BDD scripts and updating automated scripts
  • Current projections predict even further reduction of testing time and test resources

Key Products and Services Involved

Please reach out if you would like to know more about our products or would like us to connect you with REPL.

Martin Gloor

Martin is responsible for our Test Automation Product Department and Abrantix in the APAC region. He is a payment industry specialist with a high knowledge of the business and in-depth technical skills.

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