Understanding the terms and acronyms of the registry world

Here is a handy list of industry acronyms and common terms to help you understand the complex world of registers, regulations and legislation. 


  • Anti Money Laundering (AML) – refers to laws and regulations intended to stop criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income.
  • Application Programming Interface (API) – a means by which two or more computer programs can communicate with each other.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) – leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.
  • Beneficial Ownership Data Standards (BODS) is an open standard providing guidance for collecting, sharing and using high-quality data on beneficial ownership. Our Beneficial Ownership Registers are built to this standard.  
  • Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) – refers to a set of standards and regulatory systems intended to prevent terrorist groups from laundering money. 
  • Counter Proliferation Financing (CPF) – refers to the actions of preventing proliferation financing which in turn is the act of providing funds or financial services for use, in whole or in part, in the manufacture, acquisition, development, export, trans-shipment, brokering, transport, transfer, stockpiling of, or otherwise in connection with the possession or use of, chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons, including the provision of funds or financial services in connection with the means of delivery of such weapons and other CBRN-related goods and technology, in contravention of a relevant financial sanctions obligation. 
  • Current Operating Model (COM) – is the current operating model instituted in terms of the configuration of people, processes, and technology to achieve the organisation’s objectives.
  • Electronic Collateral Register (ECR) – an asset register defined under the Cape Town convention.
  • IETF – Internet Engineering Taskforce. 
  • Interoperability – is the ability to share information and services or the ability of systems or components to exchange and use information or provide and receive services from other systems.
  • ISO – International Standards Organisation.
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) – is the aspect of due diligence that deals with the identity verification of customers’ credentials. 34 Registers the New Frontier: A proposal for the development of a new target operating model for registers.
  • Machine Learning (ML) – is an AI technique that teaches computers to learn from experience.
  • Natural Person – (also sometimes referred to as a physical person) is a title used to identify an individual human being. This is different from a legal person, which can be an individual or a company.
  • Open Data – is defined as structured data that is machine-readable, freely shared, used and built on without restrictions.
  • Operator – the custodian of a register. 
  • People Process Technology (PPT) – a framework that has been around since the 1960s that organisations use to assess and improve operational efficiency.
  • Register – a statutory register that persists legal entity records within a legislative base.
  • Registry Domain – a single grouping of similar legislative bases of register operators such as Land or Business.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – is an optimisation method that uses AI, machine learning, or virtual bots to execute tasks humans would otherwise handle. 
  • Target Operating Model (TOM) – is a high-level blueprint that outlines how an organisation intends to operate in the future to achieve its strategic objectives. Read about our proposed Target Operating Model for registers here
  • XBRL – an XML-based markup language used for standardised reporting of business information, especially that relating to a company’s financial performance.
  • XML – stands for eXtensible Markup Language.  XML is a markup language designed to store and transport data.