EMVO remind on challenges in IMT transactions

Intermarket transactions (IMTs) are a core part of the EMVS but present their own unique challenges. 

This type of transaction is triggered when a pack is scanned in a local market, while the pack’s unique identifiers are not stored in that local market’s NMVS, but in another, ‘fulfilling’, market’s NMVS. There are various reasons why this might be the case, including the onboarding partner being unaware the pack will be shipped to that particular local market, a pharmacy/hospital that is located near a country border having physical medicines supplied by either country, and COVID-19 vaccines uploaded to only larger markets, but distributed to all markets.

In an IMT, the pack’s 2D barcode data is sent via the EU Hub to the other market for verification or decommissioning and the response is then sent back to the local market. Thus technically, many more steps are involved in an IMT compared to a local transaction.

Investigating alerts raised via an intermarket transaction is more complex because of the limited information available to the local NMVO. The local NMVO can only see the events that happened locally but not events that happened in other markets, such as the pack creation details or a change of pack status (for example, ‘active’ to ‘exported’). For these alerts, collaboration with the NMVO of the fulfilling market is essential to understand the full history of the pack and resolve the alert. However, it should be noted that only the NMVO of the local market can see the name and address of the end user who scanned the pack; this information is not visible to other NMVOs or stakeholders.