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  Nowadays, counterfeit products are infiltrating the market at an alarming rate.
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Counterfeits are of poorer quality, but available at a lower price, and are often difficult to distinguish from genuine ones. Unfortunately, this makes them an appealing alternative for those who cannot afford the real deal. Counterfeit items have a negative influence on global economic activity, tax income, investment, and jobs. Nigeria was included as one of the countries affected by counterfeiting in a 2017 analysis by Frontier Economics. Chekkit, a Nigerian platform a B2B software startup that provides product identification and distribution tracking solutions to FMCGs and pharmaceutical companies., is harnessing technology to educate businesses in combating counterfeiting, switching of goods, and pilferage. Chekkit is a platform that prevents counterfeiting and helps businesses develop credibility through online evaluations using existing technologies such as the Mobile Authentication Scheme (MAS), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain. Customers can share their opinions with others who are interested in these businesses through the site. Created by Dare Odumade (an innovator and UI/UX expert) and Jida Asare ((a pharmacist and software developer) at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana.
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Dare founded Chekkit after witnessing the harmful and sometimes fatal effects of counterfeit drugs. He was present when someone purchased a counterfeit antimalarial drug at his friend’s pharmacy in Ghana and died due to a ruptured kidney, as a side effect of the drug. This led Dare to carry out market research in Accra. Not surprisingly, he discovered that a large percentage of customers were oblivious to the harmful effects of counterfeit drugs. As a result, these effects could go unnoticed for a long time till the drug has caused enough damage to lead to health emergencies. “We then decided to develop an authentication system powered by sticker labels that verify medicines,” Odumade told TechCabal. “The stickers have encrypted USSD code to dial, QR code to scan, and aggregated and processed surveys which consumers answer during the authentication process to instantly receive a reward,” This was the event that birthed Chekkit. It assigns a secure unique ID to food and beverage items, allowing manufacturers to manage and trace all supply chain activities. This leads to the successful delivery of products from the warehouse to the distributors and then to the ultimate consumers without being tampered with. Users can also use labels to authenticate products with the Chekkit mobile app. To test a drug’s authenticity after purchasing it, users can use their smartphones to dial the USSD codes on the sticker or scan the QR code on the pack to get an authentication notification. After doing this, they also get airtime top-ups as a reward for using Chekkit. Other services provided by Chekkit include the generation of invoices for businesses and the provision of codes for customers to cast votes for their favourite video in a promotional campaign. Featured Image Source: Business Post NG
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This article was first published on 25th August 2021


My name is Samuel Okoruwa. I am an ardent researcher, reading is life and writing is fun.

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