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  1. #1
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    Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Application

    I have been testing Ecommerce application for a while now. But there is one issue I come across all the time during Post Production Testing.

    The issue is during post production testing of Ecommerce application, I often have to use my personal credit card to test purchasing Subscriptions/Offers, in production environment. To get refund on the test purchases I made, its a long process.

    My point is tester shouldn't have to use his or her personal credit card to test purchasing subscriptions/Offers.

    Suggest solution - I am looking for way to test the application on production where by we can test the end to end purchase process on production and would not have to use personal credit card for it. While it is important to use all different kids of credit card to make sure the system accepts all of them, is there way to set up fake credit card so that a QA can verify end to end process and the processing center (who verifies and process the orders) can decline (or know the credit card number entered is fake or test credit card) the order upon successful verification and validation of placed orders.

    Please advise.

  2. #2
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Application

    No, you really can't set up a "fake" credit card in your application,or I wouldn't suggest doing that anyway. The problem is that by doing so you are, basically, placing exceptional logic into production code. This needs to take place in a sandbox environment only.

    Have you tested this all the way through in a pre-production environment? If so, then why do you feel the need to do it in production? You should be able to see any errors coming through.

    Another question. Are your servers load balanced? I worked in an eCommerce environment where it was load balanced and any time we needed to verify live orders after our Pre-production testing, we could place the updated code on one load-balanced server, bring that server up, allow it to accept a good sample of test orders, and then take it out of the load balancer again. Then, we could check the orders which came through that server manually to verify they were correct.

    Another option, although I don't know if it is still the case, the payment processor may also have a test credit card you could use. Now, just on the tail end of working at this company I came to find that payment processors were moving away from using test credit cards, so that might not be an option anymore, but you could always ask.

    If not, then maybe corporate should get a test credit card for you to use.
    Brent
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    9 out of 10 people I prove wrong agree that I'm right. The other person is my wife.
    --------------------

  3. #3
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Application

    In a previous existence, when I was testing ATMs, the banks provided us with test card data. This could be on real pieces of plastic or just a string of numbers to be input into our simulator. The banks provided the data because, as you say, the values must be verified somewhere in the end-to-end process.

    Have you enquired about the availability of test card data?

    I would certainly be wary of using a real card - especially my own - to test a system just in case my card details were then in the public domain.

  4. #4
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Application

    Its totally unsafe to input your own card number for testing an application which is in production and hence connected to payment gateways. Instead of that, the company is responsible for providing an alternate way, like a test card.

    One advantage in present situation is that you can feel it better if there is a flaw. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Application

    Oh yeah, by the way, with all this talk of payment gateways, keep in mind, also, that many payment gateways will base the rates charged to the account holder based on a number of things, including refunds, chargebacks, subscriptions, etc. So charging and refunding a card may end up putting the merchant at risk if you are not aware of the policies of the payment gateway.
    Brent
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    9 out of 10 people I prove wrong agree that I'm right. The other person is my wife.
    --------------------

  6. #6
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Application

    Hello Brent:

    How is it possible to place order with your credit card and put it on the load balancer? Correct me if I am wrong, are you suggesting by following that process, the system won't charge my credit card?

  7. #7
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Application

    No, I'm saying that if you were to be constantly charging and refunding orders against a production environment, you will be driving up the merchant's perceived risk at the side of the payment gateway.

    So, for instance, let's assume I'm using a real credit card to process orders. I am running through 40 or 50 test orders a day, for instance. Let's say, on the other hand, there are 10 valid orders being processed.

    The payment gateway doesn't see these as separate. So the payment gateway sees that particular merchant as having a refund rate of around 80%. Since the refund rate is so high, the merchant may automatically be placed into a higher risk bracket which will end up charging them more $$ per transaction and a higher percentage of the purcahse amount (if they charge a percentage).

    That brings me to another good point. Keep in mind that every order placed against a production environment will charge the merchant. Sometimes, depending on their risk category and volume, this could be $0.50 per transaction or even $1.00 in cases. Additionally, with most payment gateways, I believe, you will pay a percentage of the transaction. So it might be a half percent, or might be 5%. Again, this depends on the risk category the merchant is in. So, if you're putting through penny transactions then it might not be so bad, but if you end up putting through $100 transactions or something, it could end up costing the company a good deal of money.

    This is why you should definitely request a test card from the payment processor. At least then you don't need to refund it at all (unless that's what you're testing).
    Brent
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    9 out of 10 people I prove wrong agree that I'm right. The other person is my wife.
    --------------------

  8. #8
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Applicatio

    I would rather not use credit card for testing payment gateway. I remember once working with a company that they gave us virtual cards. I am not sure if this is true anymore..but since you will pay service charges for using payment gateway, you can ask them if they can provide you some help...

    In case if you have no alternative but to use the real card, I would suggest running few business cases on which your software is designed...
    =================================
    Testing is invigorating...
    http://swtestinginnovations.com/

  9. #9
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Applicatio

    We once had a similar problem. Our Payment Provider gave us 2 Options both not an ideal solution: Either taking the system temporary off the live payment (but that depends on what you want to test and whether customers still need to be able to shop) or using 1 cent amounts for payment since they would not charge the card in that case (this requires a change of the database and is as well not suited for certain situations, e.g. what happens if a customer tries to buy the item for which the price had been changed during the test, additionally you won’t be able to test certain scenarios).
    Before the system went live the provider gave us dummy data to test the payment process. But this wasn't possible for the live system.
    Member of the web2test team
    (test tool for automated functional web tests)

  10. #10
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    Re: Post Production Testing - Ecommerce Applicatio

    Plus, really, testing a live transaction is really the only way you are testing a production system, right? I mean you can do all the little tricks you want, but the reason you're testing in post-production is because you want to verify that the system is working properly, isn't it? So why would you test using data that is going to trip some sort of exceptional logic in the payment system? You're essentially avoiding everything you actually WANT to test.

    Test everything you can in pre-production. This should be your system-level testing. All you should be testing post-production is the ability to communicate with the payment provider. Place a test order, verify it works correctly.

    Depending on your volume, you can actually do this using clients. I mean at my old shop we were seeing thousands of orders a day, so if we brought changes online which broke the system, which rarely happened and if it did, it was because we weren't submitting live orders, then we knew it pretty fast. In our case, we were dealing with 20 or 30 payment gateways, which meant we needed to verify we were getting valid approvals from each gateway. Once we had verified this against one of the servers in the load balancer, we would update the other. If we didn't have time to verify that all payment gateways were returning valid approvals, then we would often leave the changed server out of the load balancer, and wait until the next morning to verify that all servers were workign correctly.

    Anyway, my advice would be to have a company card you can use to force through a valid order and NOT refund it. All you want to do is test that the gateway communication is correct. The company gets most of whatever money you submit through the system anyway so throw through a $1 order to verify it's working and let the company pay for it. That's testing.
    Brent
    --------------------
    9 out of 10 people I prove wrong agree that I'm right. The other person is my wife.
    --------------------

 

 
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