Russia's Chestny ZNAK offers prizes for scanning codes

It's well known that consumers typically scan codes on products at a very low rate, but Russia is hoping to change that by offering incentives – including a 1m rouble ($13,745) top prize.

Over a six week period between the start of June and mid-July, Russia's Chestny ZNAK supply chain track and trace system is offering hundreds of gifts every week to people who use their phones to scan the 2D datamatrix codes found on an increasingly wide range of products.

The more scans a person makes, the better the chances of a higher-value gift, ranging from branded sweatshirts, subscriptions to an online movie service, a television and cash of 10,000 roubles. Only people who have scanned at least 10 codes will be in the running for the top cash prize.

The promotion currently applies to products in the dairy, pharmaceutical, tobacco, clothing and footwear, camera equipment, perfumes, fur coats, and car tyres.

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Russia's plan is eventually to make every single consumer good traded in the domestic market – including imported goods – digitally traceable at the unit level, offering protection against counterfeit goods and making it easier to harvest tax revenues.

Specific requirements vary by industry, but key elements include 2D datamatrix codes, serialisation and aggregation, crypto codes, and electronic reporting.

It wants goods to be trackable and verifiable as they make their way down the supply chain from the point of manufacture to the consumer, who can verify purchases using their smartphone.

When fully implemented – scheduled for 2024 – the Chestny ZNAK scheme will apply to the widest range of consumer goods of any track and trace scheme around the world. It is run by the Center for Research in Perspective Technologies (CRPT), a public-private partnership.

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