Direct messaging primarily focuses on two main elements, security and trust. It is the trust that can cause some difficulty as just having a Direct address will not alone enable you to exchange messages with other Direct addresses.


There are two types of trust offered under Direct

  • Trust bundle
    • Provides a 'trust network' which enables all members to communicate without the need to establish individual trust relationships.
  • Point-to-point trust relationship
    • Provides the ability to establish point-to-point / individual cases of trust. By being an Accredited DirectTrust member, any additional point-to-point trust relationships can only be established if the party you are wanting to trust acquired their Direct certificate by being identity proofed at LoA3 (Level of Assurance) or higher.


The trust bundle option came about as the industry quickly recognized that point-to-point trust would not be practical in the majority of cases, as a result two separate initiatives have arisen to provide these 'trust networks'

and the one that the industry has focused on to date is DirectTrust.

So if the Direct address you are trying to exchange with, either receive from or send to, is not part of DirectTrust and there is no point-to-point trust relationship in place your exchange will fail due to lack of trust.


Ok, so what do I need to do to send / receive my Direct message?

If the untrusted Direct address is not part of the Accredited DirectTrust bundle then typically the best course of action is to either switch over to a Direct address that is part of the Accredited DirectTrust bundle or wait for the untrusted Direct address to become part of the Accredited DirectTrust bundle.

The other option of establishing point-to-point trust, based on experience, will take longer. But point-to-point trust can be established if the parties involved can connect and ensure all the appropriate checks and balances are performed.

If this does occur the practice is best to contact their vendor, providing the contact details of the other practice they're attempting to exchange with. This matter may be escalated to Nitor Group in which case we may contact the other practice for information regarding their HISP.