By Aimee Chanthadavong

It is estimated by 2015 counterfeiting will cost businesses $1.5 trillion globally. Currently it’s costing the global economy over $250 billion annually. But a new patent-pending ‘track and trace’ app system has been launched to prevent this problem.

Authenticateit empower brands to track and trace their products throughout the supply chain, prevent unauthorised distribution, grey importing and allows retailers to verify authenticity of goods received from their suppliers. It also allows them to take immediate action to recall, bar, disable or neutralise unauthorised sales or imports.

Speaking to RetailBiz, Authenticateit founder Gennady Volchek said the tool was needed to prevent retailers and consumers from unknowingly selling and buying counterfeit goods sourced from rogue importers.

“A lot of companies have been trying to find a solution as many are spending up to $10 billion a year to protect themselves. Unfortunately all of the solutions have not been able to stop or slow down counterfeiting,” he said.

“The fundamental approach is that these technologies developed for distributors and retailers would be able allow them to check goods against counterfeiting but this was the fundamental flaw because some of these retailers were involved in introducing counterfeit goods themselves.”

Consumers can simultaneously use the free Authenticateit smartphone application, downloadable via Google Play and the Apple store, as a fast and convenient way to check an item’s authenticity before purchase to ensure they don’t buy a counterfeit product unknowingly.

Volceck describes the app as being consumer-centric as it enables direct communication between the consumer and the brands.

“Each time a consumer gets a negative response about the product, consumers can report that back to the brand and with the use of GPS technology the brands can then pin point the exact location of whoever is trading the counterfeit goods.”

Authenticateit’s system is also fully compatible with GS1 global standards making it easy for brands to implement Authenticateit without the cost and hassle of adding additional identifiers. The GS1 Databar was selected as the Unique Product Identifier (UPI) allowing consumers to scan it as barcode to verify the product authenticity and as a product barcode to be used by retailers at point-of-sale.

“It’s very important that it’s GS1 compatible. One of the biggest issues that companies face when trying to introduce protection to their brand is the additional technology they have to undergo to introduce those protection features. Because we utilise GS1 barcodes that brands would use to at POS the same barcode can be used for the consumer application therefore they wouldn’t need two identifiers with dual protection,” Volchek said.

Michael Kaper, MD of Jumbo Ugg Australia, one of the leading manufacturers of Ugg Boots to the world, said Authenticateit’s technology works seamlessly to protect the brand and consumers globally from buying non-genuine Ugg products.
“Jumbo Ugg chose Authenticate as a measure to help prevent the growing number of counterfeits and add value to our customers so they have peace of mind knowing they are purchasing a genuine product.”