Cracking the Code

Inside Alcinéo's EMV® payment software quality assessment

At Alcinéo, the software development process is characterized by a methodical quality assessment and a collaborative approach. Our R&D department plays a crucial role in ensuring quality deliverables and seamless product integration, enabling payment solution providers to certify their EMV® payment terminals efficiently.  

Roles within the software development team

Diverse responsibilities that encompass several key areas

Developers use C language to develop the payment kernels integrated to payment terminals built by our customers. 

Client environment integration

Developers integrate into our customers’ environment the EMV software payment suite, contact and contactless. They also ensure the porting of test applications for level 2 certifications. 

Functional and performance testing

Thorough tests are conducted to ensure quality and compliance with international payment standards.  

Technical documentation

Developers contribute to writing essential technical documents to guide our customers throughout the integration of our payment software into their solution. 

Deliveries to the validation team

Development engineers ensure that platform deliveries adhere to the defined process.

Adherence to schedules and reporting

The team follows the schedules established at the start of the project between the customers and project managers to optimize the certification timelines. Developers regularly provide reports to project managers using dedicated follow up tools. 

Technical support

Technical support is provided to customers during the integration phase of our deliveries, with primary focus on software and product quality.

The importance of preliminary testing

Ensuring the stability of each layer

Before being deployed, payment terminals must meet the requirements defined by international standards at several layers of the solution, referred to as Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.  

Alcinéo focuses on EMV Level 1 and Level 2 kernel development (Mastercard, Visa, Amex, etc.) and testing environment to pass successive certifications of the payment terminals. 

EMV payment software certification layers

EMV payment software certification layers

The first essential step at the start of a project involves thorough pre-testing of the low-level stack of the products provided by our customers. When requested, Alcinéo can also provide the Level 1 software stack.

It is essential to check the stability of the level 1 layer before testing the level 2 kernels. These pre-tests include random, collision, performance, robustness… 

Once the level 1 layer proves sufficient robustness, specific tests are conducted on the level 2 kernels intended for certification. These pre-tests performed by the development team are defined and kept up to date by kernel managers. They are randomly generated from the test plans that the validation team will use to perform the full testing campaigns. When all pre-tests are successful, the project is delivered to validation team to perform the internal testing run of all contactless kernels embedded in the device. 

Quality and success

Adherence to the milestones initially defined is a key factor of a project’s success, depending not only on the development and integration of the payment kernels, but also on the stability of the prototypes provided.

The quality code review is managed collaboratively in the R&D department. We value experience feedback that allow for adjustments to the process as needed.

The success of the work is measured through key performance indicators, notably the number of certifications obtained on the first attempt.

“Preliminary tests represent a crucial step in the overall certification process of payment terminals. They allow us to identify potential failures at the earliest stage of development, ensuring the quality and robustness of delivered products. This process enables our customers to fast track their products approval.”

Manu – Develoment engineer

To go further

Deep dive into Alcinéo’s project management secrets, read our article HERE to learn more about the different phases leading to payment terminals certification.

For more information about EMV technology, contact and contactless specifications, or other topics related to digital payment solutions, feel free to contact our team :

EMV® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregisteredtrademark elsewhere. The EMV trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.