The Green Sheet Online Edition
December 27, 2010 • Issue 10:12:02
Virtual testing for ATM and POS networks
Software developer Lexcel Solutions Inc. released its QuickStart System to expedite verification and certification of ATM and POS networks undergoing routine maintenance, technology updates and various compliance upgrades.
The solution enables host processors to create and integrate ATM and POS testing environments that connect to hosts for issuing and acquiring devices within 90 minutes, according to Lexcel.
The company developed the bundled, end-to-end solution for processors, ISOs moving into processing, financial institutions and payments industry network providers. The system comes equipped with preformatted test scripts to eliminate the need for manual error identification.
It also sports a regression testing capability through such features as automatic-transaction generation, audit capture and reporting. Its 24/7 scheduling permits users to run tests outside of normal business hours, Lexcel noted.
"QuickStart is really a first step in building a bigger system, where they get an origination simulator and a network simulator," said Lewis Kubitz, who heads Business Development at Lexcel. "It basically interacts just like the network. It sits on a PC, so it's a software program. Lexcel makes the transactions in any format, any flavor, so they can test a virtual ATM/POS system instead of a physical system." He estimates that Lexcel has worked with 150 of the most popular POS formats.
Virtual versus manual
One advantage QuickStart reportedly has over standard testing systems is its patented core technology, which simulates networks.
"None of our competition today does that," Kubitz said. "Lexcel patented the process of replicating a network, so it acts just like a network. They send a response; it automatically connects.
They send a message in; it automatically responds, based on the network requirement, and sends back another message. I think we are 80 percent faster in the certification process by using the Lexcel simulator, replicating those networks, getting them to play back to their customers today, and getting them up and running."
He added that QuickStart speeds up the process by allowing users to plug in virtual cards, perform test transactions and key into hubs; manual testing requires users to test systems by standing in front of physical ATMs or POS devices, swiping cards and entering numbers.
"It's got a lot of intuitive things that compare and contrast, so once they make changes, they want to run a test," Kubitz said. "They send electronic transactions through, and it will generate a report. It will highlight different things, where it will say this transaction didn't set up [a] proper authorization response for this transaction coming in.
It has screens, like a side-by-side view of what should have happened, what did happen and highlights what things did go wrong." He added that this ultimately reduces costly production outages.
Facilitates PCI compliance
Kubitz reported that some clients, before working with Lexcel, had devised homegrown testing tools that exposed data to security breaches because information was generated through live hosts. "We help people become more PCI compliant as a result of integrating with us, because there's now all test scripts," he said. "There is no live data being done.
It's all done in a contained environment where there's really not a possibility of a breach of security."
He pointed out that Lexcel essentially delivers a "mini system," and because the system is scalable, it can expand from a single simulator to a large, enterprisewide testing environment. QuickStart comes prepackaged with updated regulations and mandates built in.
Lexcel Solutions Inc.
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