In this article

What is AML compliance?

What are AML procedures?

How does AML training help?

What makes Ethena’s AML training stand out?

When it comes to training topics — which happens to be our specialty — anti-money laundering (AML) is one that you might not realize the need for until it’s too late. After all, money-laundering is a pretty niche crime with fairly minor consequences, right?


Money-laundering is more common than you might think, and it’s often used to fund other criminal enterprises like terrorism, human trafficking, and organized crime. And since it’s much easier to deter behaviors on a small scale than it is once they snowball into larger ones, the time to institute AML compliance processes is right now. Help your workforce:

So let’s talk about it: What is AML compliance, anyway?

What is AML compliance?

In brief, AML compliance is the process of complying with applicable anti-money laundering rules and regulations — such as:

  • The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
  • The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986
  • The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001
  • And a company’s own internal best practices

What goes into an AML compliance program?

It’s worth noting right up top that AML training is just one element of a healthy compliance program. That said, Ethena’s AML course was developed in collaboration with our legal team, content team, and a roster of subject matter experts and includes the following topics:

  • What is AML?
  • Types of Financial Crime
  • Defining Key Terms (MSB, etc.)
  • The Three Stages of Money Laundering
  • The Five Pillars of AML
  • The AML Legal Landscape (BSA, USA PATRIOT Act, etc.)
  • Know Your Customer (CIP, CDD, EDD)
  • Transaction Monitoring and Reporting
Screenshot from our Anti-Money Laundering course
Screenshot from our Anti-Money Laundering course

How do AML and compliance work together?

As you might be gathering, AML and compliance go hand-in-hand. Anti-money laundering training teaches employees what (and what not!) to do by helping them understand what money laundering is, how to spot it, and how to raise concerns and report incidents that can put the company, customers, and employees at risk. But true compliance is more about the behavior afterward — actually implementing the best practices we lay out in our training.

What are AML procedures?

And what are those best practices, you might ask? Ethena’s AML training educates learners on Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures so they can spot unusual behaviors from users and explores common types of transactions that should raise red flags. For example:

  • Repeated transfers in large, round amounts
  • The use of multiple taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) with variations on a user’s name
  • Fun transfers that bounce between related accounts
  • Customers who balk after learning that a particular transaction has to be reported
  • Accounts where the supposed occupation of the customer doesn’t match the type or level of activity
  • Charity or nonprofit organization accounts that funnel money to foreign beneficiaries

How does AML training help?

Because money laundering is so often linked to other crimes, AML training is crucial for nipping bad behavior before it becomes more sinister. In fact, preventing bad behavior before it evolves, and developing training that actually affects behaviors, is why Ethena was started. This makes it valuable for any company, but good AML training can be a particular boon in the following areas:

1. High-risk expansions

If your company has recently expanded business operations into an area at high risk for money laundering activities, AML training can quickly get your team up to speed. It not only establishes foundational knowledge of financial crime and how to combat it, but also builds on that knowledge with a discussion of the real-world penalties that individuals and companies have been hit with so everyone is aware of the stakes.

2. Personal and corporate liability

Fines for AML violations have been quite high of late — exceeding $5 billion annually in recent years — and they’re only getting higher. The 2020 fines were more than double that figure, topping out at $10.6 billion, and government agencies are also making it an increasing priority to target individuals with both fines and criminal prosecution.

3. Ongoing partnerships

Increasingly, there’s an expectation that all companies take steps to prevent money laundering. Some partners and counterparties are beginning to insist on it before proceeding with a business relationship.

What makes Ethena’s AML training stand out?

So where and how do we stand out in this landscape of AML in compliance? We’re so glad you asked. At Ethena, we can help you with:

A paper trail

Because of the multiple legal requirements in place, it’s often necessary to prove company or individual compliance with an AML program. (It’s written right into the law that “training programs should be well documented.”)

So Ethena’s platform preserves a snapshot of the exact training your team has completed on the date that they completed it, information that can prove decisive in the event of an audit or investigation.

Screenshot of our Admin Hub where you can quickly assign training or see completion rates
Screenshot of our Admin Hub where you can quickly assign training or see completion rates

Intuitive, time-saving integrations

We know your time is valuable, so we work to create an experience that benefits administrators in compliance, legal, and HR roles, just as much as it does your employees. Our platform seamlessly integrates with something you’re company is already using, making startup and onboarding a breeze. Thanks to our range of HRIS software, you can also save time by scheduling regular (and automatic!) training reminders.

For example, you can schedule reminders to be sent to your workforce via email and Slack (so you don’t have to)!

Example of our automated training reminders being delivered by email and Slack
Example of our automated training reminders being delivered by email and Slack

Research-backed content

Gone are the days of deciding between training that fits your needs or training that aligns with your company message, because Ethena does both. Our research-backed content keeps the legal jargon to a minimum to keep the content clear and accessible. And we use:

  • Inclusive language
  • Racially and culturally diverse characters
  • Relevant and modern scenarios so they feel authentic and align with your company’s progressive DEI goals
Comic from Ethena's DEI training: Microaggressions: Strategies for Speaking Up
Comic from Ethena’s DEI training: Microaggressions: Strategies for Speaking Up

So what do you think? If you’re still on the fence, you can request a sample AML training — or chat with an Ethena team member today to dive into details!