How to Test Point of Sale System Software [2024 Guide]

Imagine a busy retail store: full aisles of shoppers, carts loaded with products, and customers breezing through checkout. This becomes possible by rigorous testing and continuous maintenance of a store's point-of-sale system. From brick-and-mortar outlets to online portals, technology plays a big role today in the retail industry. Any business person would put the highest emphasis on transaction data security and user experience, so this has made stringent POS testing extremely important.

Read along to learn the best practices for making sure your POS system runs smoothly, which is essential for business success and customer satisfaction.

We can help you drive payment testing as a key initiative aligned to your business goals

Contact us

What is a Point of Sale (POS) system?

A Point of Sale (POS) system combines hardware and software that allows businesses to conduct sales transactions. It is the central hub where customers pay for goods or services. Key functions of a POS system include:

  • Calculating total costs, 
  • Adding taxes, 
  • Processing payments, 
  • Managing inventory, 
  • Generating sales reports, and 
  • Storing customer data.


POS systems benefit a wide range of industries by enhancing customer experience and streamlining operations:

  • Hospitality: Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and hotels use POS systems to improve service efficiency and manage transactions centrally.
  • Retail: POS systems facilitate smooth transactions, manage customer information, support loyalty programs, and offer discounts.
  • Warehouse/Distribution: Used for inventory management, order fulfillment, and connecting with sales channels.
  • Healthcare: Ensures quick service in pharmacies and effective management of patient meals.
  • Manufacturing: Integrates sales with inventory records, ensuring seamless operations.
  • Public transport: Allows for efficient payment of tickets, catering to busy passengers.
  • Trade: Helps organize data for builders and plumbers.
  • Banking: Enables balance checks, money transfers, and secure account management.
  • Government: Manages sales, bookkeeping, and stock controls, tackling challenges like tax evasion.
  • Multi-service businesses: Centralizes transaction points in establishments like hospitals, theaters, and event arenas, allowing managers to monitor various services on a single platform.

Why do POS systems fail?

As you can see, POS systems are used across industries. POS (point of sale) terminals are the most widely used terminal type. According to the European Association for Secure Transactions, 17,145,644 POS terminals are deployed in Europe, representing a 6% increase from the 2022 total.


However, sometimes these system fails, and for the following reasons:

  • Hardware malfunctions: Issues with terminals, barcode scanners, or receipt printers can disrupt transactions. For example, a barcode scanner does not recognize barcodes properly, leading to delays at checkout.
  • Software bugs: Glitches or errors in the POS software can lead to transaction failures. For example, a bug that causes incorrectly calculated discounts can result in financial discrepancies.
  • Network problems: A POS system that cannot connect to the payment gateway can cause card transactions to fail, leading to customer complaints and negative reviews.
  • Security vulnerabilities: Inadequate security measures, like weak encryption, can expose the system to breaches and attacks, such as the theft of customer credit card information.

The importance of POS testing

This all leads us to the importance of POS testing. It is an essential practice to ensure the reliability, security, and efficiency of the POS system. It involves evaluating various aspects of the system to identify and rectify issues before they affect the business.

Key benefits of POS testing include:

  • Ensuring transaction accuracy: Verifies that prices, taxes, and discounts are correctly applied. For example, testing the application of promotional discounts during a sale event.
  • Enhancing data security: Protecting sensitive customer information from breaches. One example is conducting penetration tests to identify potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Optimizing inventory management: Ensures accurate tracking of inventory levels.
  • Improving customer experience: Provides a smooth and efficient checkout process, enhancing customer satisfaction. Using usability testing, you can ensure the POS interface is intuitive for staff.

Different types of POS testing

1. Functional testing

Functional testing aims to ensure all features of the POS system work as expected.


This involves verifying:

  • Item scanning
  • Price calculation
  • Discount application
  • Payment processing
  • Receipt generation

For example, functional testing would confirm that the system accurately calculates the total amount for multiple items with varying discounts.

2. Performance testing

Performance testing assesses the system's performance under various conditions, focusing on:

  • System response time
  • Transaction processing speed
  • Handling peak loads

An example of performance testing is simulating a Black Friday sale to evaluate the system's capacity to manage high transaction volumes.

3. Security testing

Security testing identifies vulnerabilities and ensures data protection. This includes:

  • Testing encryption of payment information
  • Resistance to unauthorized access
  • Compliance with security standards

For instance, security testing might involve checking for SQL injection vulnerabilities in the POS software.

4. Usability testing

Usability testing evaluates the system's user-friendliness by examining:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Ease of navigation
  • Overall customer experience

An example of this type of POS testing is observing how easily staff can perform transactions with minimal training.

5. Compatibility testing

Compatibility testing ensures the system works with various hardware and software configurations. This involves:

  • Integration with different terminals
  • Scanners
  • Printers
  • Payment gateways

For example, compatibility testing would verify the POS system's functionality with various brands of barcode scanners.


Differences between POS testing and traditional software testing

POS systems are heavily customer-facing, meaning they directly impact the user experience at the point of sale. Conventional software testing often focuses more broadly on software functionality and user experience across different services.

One primary focus of POS testing is payment processing and integration with peripheral devices, such as barcode scanners and receipt printers. This integration requires rigorous testing to ensure seamless operations, whereas conventional software testing may not extensively cover hardware interactions.

Security is another critical difference. POS systems handle sensitive payment information, necessitating strict adherence to standards like PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). This makes security testing a paramount aspect of POS testing, whereas conventional software testing might prioritize security based on the application’s context.


Additionally, POS testing often emphasizes real-time performance under high transaction volumes, such as during peak shopping times. Ensuring quick and accurate transactions is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction. In contrast, conventional software testing might focus on overall performance and scalability but not necessarily in a high-pressure, real-time environment.

Challenges in POS Testing

1. Diverse hardware and software environments

POS systems must operate seamlessly with various hardware components and software configurations, making comprehensive testing challenging. For example, ensuring compatibility with different operating systems and hardware from multiple manufacturers requires extensive testing.

2. Data security

Protecting sensitive customer data is crucial, necessitating robust security measures and thorough testing for vulnerabilities. An example includes implementing and testing end-to-end encryption for payment data to ensure it is securely transmitted.

3. Integration with external systems

POS systems often integrate with payment gateways, inventory management systems, and CRM platforms. Testing these integrations to ensure smooth data flow is complex. For instance, verifying accurate data transfer between the POS system and an external inventory management system is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

4. Scalability

As businesses grow, their POS systems must handle increasing transaction volumes and inventory sizes without performance degradation. An example of this is testing the system's performance during major sales events like Cyber Monday to ensure it can handle the high transaction volume.

5. Data backup and recovery

Ensuring effective data backup and recovery processes is critical to prevent data loss during system failures or crashes. Regularly testing the data recovery process to ensure quick restoration after a system crash is an important example of this challenge.

How to perform POS testing – checklist

  1. Develop a clear test plan: Outline the scope, objectives, and specific test cases to ensure comprehensive evaluation for each POS system function.
  2. Use diverse and real-world test data to replicate actual scenarios, such as sales data, to test transaction accuracy.
  3. Conduct End-to-End Testing: Cover the entire sales process, from item scanning to payment processing and receipt generation.
  4. Perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT): Engage store employees to test the POS system during a simulated busy period to validate the system's user-friendliness and functionality.
  5. Use test automation tools for repetitive and regression testing to save time and enhance coverage, especially automating routine tests to check system stability after software updates.
  6. Regularly test data backup and recovery procedures to protect against data loss.
  7. Ensure the POS system complies with relevant standards and regulations for your industry.


Testing a POS system is crucial for smooth retail operations, safeguarding customer data, and improving the customer experience. Recognizing the importance of POS testing, the types of tests needed, and the best practices to follow is the best path for reliable and secure POS systems. This, in turn, supports growth and success in a competitive retail market.

What can Global App Testing do for you?

Global App Testing (GAT) ensures your payment systems function flawlessly in real-world scenarios, covering everything from payment gateways to cryptocurrency transfers.


Here's how we help:

  1. Comprehensive testing services: We use real humans, real identity documents, and real devices to ensure your checkouts and transfers are working properly through functional testing, localization testing and UX reviews.
  2. End-to-End customer journey verification:  We ensure seamless integration across complex international payment stacks, from virtual cards to bank app confirmations.
  3. Meeting identity and legal requirements: Prevent fraud, security breaches, and legal issues with real-identity testers and testing actual cash movements.
  4. Certification: ISO 27001 certified for high security and compliance standards.
  5. Scaling QA Resources for Compliance Testing: We ensure compliance testing meets deadlines and that you can scale QA resources on-demand in line with feature releases.
  6. Capabilities:
  • 24/7 launch support
  • Turnaround times as fast as 48 hours
  • A network of 90,000 testers

Global App Testing's approach guarantees that your payments work in practice, providing the confidence needed for success in the complex and competitive global market.
Interested to learn how?
Schedule a call with our specialist today!


We can help you drive payment testing as a key initiative aligned to your business goals

Contact us

Want some help with your global testing?

We can help you drive localization as a key initiative aligned to your business goals.

Lets talk


Keep learning

The only exploratory testing checklist you need
How to test WooCommerce checkout and payments
10 Best load testing tools to consider