Purchase with Confidence: NFC Safeguards Your Wine Business

Posted by Eric Lam | Fri, Nov 11, 2016 @ 08:24 PM

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Did You Buy a Bottle of Counterfeit Wine? Maybe.

Counterfeit wine has become a hot issue in the wine and spirits industry. Many aggressive counterfeiters might remove an authentic label and place it on a similar shape for selling. It seems a virus which spreads fast and rapidly worldwide. An expert from Wine Spectator estimated that 20% of the wine consumed is counterfeit globally, especially in China. As anti-counterfeit lawyer Nick Bartman estimated, approximately 70% of the “imported” wine he saw in China was fake. It is obvious that the problem of counterfeit wine is getting worse.

How do Brands Increase Consumers’ Purchase Intention with Confidence?

Customers may not be knowledgeable to identify the authentic wine or not with eye scanning, then this becomes a responsibility to the wine producers. A study is shown that 75% of consumers stated that they were more likely to purchase a brand which adopted an anti-fraud technology. Therefore, customers trust a brand which offers a promise or guarantee about product quality via using anti-fraud technology, meanwhile, this implies that the anti-fraud technology could significantly represent the value of the wine in terms of brand protection. It is suggested that producers should take the responsibility for protecting their brand reputation seriously.

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Two Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies:

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) & Near Field Communication NFC)

Nowadays, both RFID and NFC are contactless technology which can provide authentication and temper evidence functions. Both technologies provides unique serial identifier embedded into the tags. Those tags also support for cryptography which is a form of data encryption that is nearly impossible for counterfeiter to copy. Thus, they provide high security for protecting the products.

In the real world, Rémy Martin is provided an authentication solution with NFC technology. Because of the high-security NFC chip, combined with asymmetric encryption, the cryptographic coprocessors on NFC chips makes it nearly impossible for counterfeiters to replicate authentication certificates. In other words, by scanning the top of the bottles, the NFC integrated tag will emit a different signal, displaying the bottle is genuine and sealed, or resealed via the Rémy Martin Centaur Connected mobile app.


RFID VS NFC: Features & Benefits

Nevertheless, there are some limitations for both technologies, including the specifications and applications.

RFID has been around for a while and it applies radio waves to detect and identify an object. RFID Tags mainly store the data and it combine a microchip with an antenna for picking up electromagnetic energy from RFID reader and those tags send back its unique identification number to the reader device. Compared to the NFC, it is famous for its track-trace function because it provides a longer range for users to monitor the status of inventory and display the results in real time. For instance, it can read 100 items over 3 meters at the same time. Thus, results can be received in real time which raises the productivity and reduces time cost as well as labor cost simultaneously. In fact, it is commonly used for tracking and inventory management.

In the recent years, NFC seems a new shining star in the wine industry which uses the same principles as RFID. At the same time, the number of NFC-enabled smartphones is growing rapidly. However, it only provides for a short range, like a few centimeters, that NFC tags need to be much closer to the reader (NFC-enabled smartphone). Moreover, consumers do not need to focus a reader on a tag as you do when scanning barcodes or QR codes because NFC tags can be on any side of the item or even inside a packaging. Hence, it is more user-friendly than using QR code. Besides, it allows two way communications between NFC devices. Customers just open the wine app and need a “tap” to the items using their NFC-enabled smartphone, then, this leads a website which provides the related product information. More importantly, NFC tags allow brands to closer their customer. After each transaction, brand can collect and receive the information from individual smartphone users. Therefore, they can use those information for analyzing the customer behavior in order to develop an effective marketing campaigns for generating sales.

An Innovative Solution – A Combination of RFID and NFC Technology

In reality, there is a smart bottle label which provide strong traceability and two way communication features because this tag is a combination UHF(One type of RFID) & NFC technology. Furthermore, it plays an important role in the wine and spirit industry, everyone in the supply chain, such as retailers, distributors, wineries and customers, can be benefited.

Features and applications

There are a variety of features of this smart label. Firstly, it overcomes the challenge of liquid interruption because the liquid in the bottle absorbs the radio waves which influence the communication between tags and readers, in the meantime, it provides a longer range, up 10 meters, with high speed counting in bulk. Then, the labels can be placed on the bottles with all types of metal, plastic caps and closures, and can be fitted overtly on top of, or covertly under, the capsule or closure. More importantly, each label has their own unique fixed ID with tamper-evidence for anti-counterfeiting. It is also impressive that label are small, low cost and paper thin.

Imagine that an amazing label that provides you solutions with these scenarios:

Scenario 1: I want to check the location and amount of wine bottle in a certain area.

Solution 1: Instant stock checking displays the results in real time

Scenario 2: I want to authenticate the wine products and check their information

Solution 2: After using NFC-enabled smartphone run by Android to “bump” the NFC tags, the phone shows a website for consumers to login and access to landing page which contains a “sealed status” and information about the wine product, such as, maturation, origin, color and storage method, etc.

Scenario 3: I want to know more information about customers.

Solution 3: Each transaction via NFC tags provides some information about the NFC-enabled smartphone users, e.g. map address, phone and email. 

Using NFC technology to increase customer engagement as well as customer satisfaction

Understanding and meeting customers’ need is essential. This label allows retailers to automate replenishment for consistency in stores in order to prevent out-of-stock. This increases customers’ satisfaction because they do not need to wait and successfully purchase their desired wine bottle in real time. Customers can be more knowledgeable by scanning those NFC tags for acquiring product information, and they also purchase with confidence after the authentication. Besides, those NFC tags can be placed on the some promotional materials (poster or postcard) so that it facilitates wine brand to develop an effective promotion channel.

NFC is roaring!

As the size of wine counterfeit market mentioned before, there are still many fake wines worldwide which causes a huge impact on the profitability and reputation of your brand. On the other hand, the number of NFC-enabled smartphones is growing rapidly so customers can use their phone to authenticate the wine products by themselves before they purchase. All they need to do is just tapping their phone to the NFC tags or labels on the bottles, then they can receive the results they desired in real time. At the same time, consumer satisfaction and confidence can be enriched and enhanced. On the other hand, brands can gather the information about consumer behavior which helps them to do a SMART campaign.  

Other Alternative – TrackMatriX Lock

Using Anti-fraud technology into your brand protection, this is a smart and effective decision for fighting with the counterfeiters. It always is great to have more solutions for back-up. For those people who are not ready to embrace above new technologies, TrackMatriX® Lock can be another smart option. Traceability, product authentication and customer engagement, a strong covert QR code that can perform above multi-functions as well as offered better value for money. More details, please look at

NanoMatriX is the expert in anti-counterfeiting solutions with over 10 years’ experience. We provide free consulting services and highly customized brand protection solutions and marketing strategies, which will help you work against counterfeits and win more customers simultaneously.


Written by Eric Lam