PA Consulting Group: Innovation combats product fraud

29 October 2013 Consultancy.uk

It is one of the nightmares of any consumer. You buy a luxury product, as a watch or perfume, or tickets to an event, such as a football match or concert, and it turns out that you have been scammed. On the other side of the chain of value, fraudulent and counterfeit products are costing the industry billions. A new innovation from PA Consulting Group might bring an end to the mass fraude – the consulting firm has developed a 'fraud-proof' technology that can verify if a product is genuine. Currently still in a 'concept-of-proof' phase, if the technology is successfully launched, it will according to analysts provide a breakthrough in the prevention of fraud.

The costs of fraudulent and counterfeit products are huge. Steve Crammond, expert at PA Consulting Group, explains. "Up to 10% of all worldwide technology products are counterfeit, which translates into billions of missed income for manufacturers across the globe. It is also estimated that annually over $200 billion of international trade is lost through counterfeit or pirated products".

PA-Consulting Innovatie

Dynamic QR authentication system

In order to tackle this problem, PA Consulting Group developed a special technology, called 'Dynamic QR authentication system'. Its system gives every product, device or ticket a unique QR code. When consumers want to make a purchase, they can use their smartphone to read the code and subsequently verify its authenticity. Up to date, QR codes are relatively static, making them easy to copy and duplicate, and hence were unsuitable for secure authentication purposes. The consulting firm has introduced a dynamic system where - depending on the use - QR codes continuously change every second, minute or hours. "The dynamic nature makes it virtually impossible for fraudsters to copy" Crammond explains.

Mega savings

PA Consulting Group's system can lead to massive operational efficiencies in several branches. Manufacturers of consumer products can use the technology to ensure consumers are aware of product authenticity, event organizers can use it for ticketing and transports can apply the 'Dynamic QR' approach for ensuring safe transportation of goods. Yet it doesn't just stop there. "Nearly every sector in the world struggles with combatting product fraud. Our dynamic QR system is a very accessible tool that could significantly reduce the impact of counterfeiting across many sectors".

Next steps

PA Consulting Group has recently patented the new technology and has revealed that it currently is in discussion with a number of corporations who may be interested in utilizing its innovation to protect their businesses from the far-reaching effects of fraud.

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