Counterfeited products harm manufacturers' bottom lines and, ultimately, consumer satisfaction, which is why banknote authentication expert Spectra Systems Corporation has expanded its business to include brands. Scott Tillotson, director of secure transactions, discusses how holograms and smartphones are keeping beverage products safe.
Scott Tillotson: Spectra's expertise in providing high-level security solutions for banknotes across 20 central banks made brand authentication a natural extension of its market focus.
Counterfeit or imitation items are historically, but increasingly, a concern for brands and are used to deceive consumers, and the company wanted to play a part in ending this pervasive crime. Spectra develops, markets and sells customised authentication technology that helps to protect branded products.
The InkSure acquisition in 2014 provided an immediate customer base, dramatically increasing Spectra's prospects and the growth of the authentication business outside of banknotes.
This growth is shown by an increase of nearly 50% in the sales of brand, document and tax-stamp authentication products. In addition to the continued growth of the business line, Spectra has initiated a number of customer trials, primarily in China, for its TruBrand smartphone-based authentication technology, which will boost sales in 2017.
The opportunities for TruBrand are in the tens of billions of units in China, and the potential exists to create a high-margin revenue stream in the very near future.
TruBrand and TruStamp use Spectra's newest technology to authenticate labels and holograms with a physical and covert signature. By using a smartphone app - compatible with iOS and Android - and developed by Spectra, the technology can determine if labels are real or not in seconds and, by optionally combining this with QR code capture and support for cloud-based track-and-trace software, provide a complete end-to-end solution.
Previously, when relying on similar technology, users required a separate reader device to check the authentication of products. The smartphone capability Spectra has delivered adds significant value though convenience - nearly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket - but also through money saved.
Spectra guarantees that by using its technology, authentic products will be much more secure from counterfeits. Most of its products are covert and are nearly impossible to replicate or reverse-engineer.
One product has been used successfully for about five years by a large consumer beverage company, which is very satisfied with the technology and has not reported a single compromise to its brand's authentication.
Spectra understands that criminals learn quickly to crack the codes of new protection technology, which is why it places significant value in its active R&D group.
The company has reliably produced many new products and technologies for banknote authentication and brand-protection industries, and is committed to the evolution of its product line through investment in intellectual property development and manufacturing.
Spectra expects to see a growth in solutions that combine advanced software with physical detection and authentication of packaging materials with track-and-trace solutions. Its customers are increasingly seeking this type of logistical integration and the firm intends to provide products that meet these new challenges.