Erling Grimstad: Tackling money laundering with a gamified smartphone app

Norwegian law firm Erling Grimstad is specialised in anti money laundering (AML). As part of their mission to help businesses prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, the team needed a modern, effective training solution. One that would bring this vital but challenging learning material to life.

In collaboration with Attensi, Grimstad created the AML App

This gamified training solution is designed to upskill anyone across all European AML regulations through a device they are already comfortable with – their smartphone.

The app uses gamified mechanics, interactive scenarios, and ethical dilemmas to prepare employees for common real life AML challenges.

Employees are certified on AML regulations within days, drastically reducing typical training times and costs.

Already trusted by several banks other financial institutions across Scandinavia, the app is now available in the UK.

The United Nations estimates between 2% and 5% of global GDP is illegally processed or ‘laundered’ each year. For perspective, that’s between 715 billion and 1.87 trillion EUR, or approximately the GDP of Italy. Every year.

As well as being illegal, money laundering is far more than ‘just’ white-collar crime. Criminals involved in serious organized crime are the most likely to launder their proceeds. This includes international terrorist groups who misuse financial institutions, lawyers, and accountants to mask finances used to fuel their activities. 

For anti-money laundering (AML) specialist law firm Advokatfirmaet Erling Grimstad, communicating the depth and scope of this international problem is a daily operation. The Oslo-based practice has helped financial institutions around the world upskill their staff on how AML regulations relate to their daily work. And in the process, protect their companies from significant non-compliance penalties.

But as vital as understanding AML is for anyone working in finance, training on the subject is often challenging. For learners, churning through countless documents and procedures is rarely an enticing prospect. A challenge of which Grimstad’s eponymous Managing Director was only too aware: 

Attensi SKILLS provided the AML certification answer

Created in collaboration with Attensi, the Grimstad team launched The AML app in 2020. This mobile-first solution uses gamification to bring otherwise difficult learning material to life. The training modules feature interactive conversations with 3D avatars. They include virtual customers, colleagues, and anyone else who staff may encounter when dealing with potential money laundering.

These conversations are designed to recreate common real-life scenarios and ethical dilemmas that staff in financial institutions will face in their jobs. Practicing in this learning-by-doing environment, trainees can see the consequences of their actions in a safe, repeatable way.

The app uses a range of minigames to test users’ regulation knowledge. They reward high performances with points and higher places on a shared company leader board. When learners get stuck or make a wrong choice, the app offers real time feedback and advice on how to approach the problem next time.

After being certified, user statistics show that trainees continue to play through the training, repeating the content and solidifying their new knowledge.

Every playthrough of the app generates thousands of data touch points. For training managers, these combine to provide a comprehensive view of their people’s progress. These analytics visualize where trainees excel and where they need to improve.


High praise from leading financial institutions

The AML app was quickly picked up by a number of financial institutions across its initial launch region in Scandinavia. Following this successful rollout, the team created an English language version with the UK market in mind.

For SpareBank, one of the obliged entities in Norway, the app has changed the way AML is understood among their staff.

The app has had a similar impact at Jbf Bank, where friendly competition between trainees has led to record engagement numbers.

“Some employees are triggered by competition and want to be at the top of the banks’ leaderboard. This way of conducting training has obviously motivated some of our employees. Many employees also appreciate the opportunity to go back and repeat and use the content as a reference for work.”

Aud Østerhus Oland

Money Laundering Reporting Officer | Jbf Bank

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