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Impact of the USA PATRIOT Act

July 5th, 2016. - Roasting hot dogs and hamburgers on a charcoal grill. Sipping pink lemonade from a blue and red striped plastic straw. Wearing the new 2016 limited edition Old Navy American flag shirt that magically fits just right on every body type. The smell of your sunscreen soaked skin. The squeal of excited children. The sharp intake of breath you inhale as the first firework whistles sky high and shatters into brilliance. We hope your Independence day celebration was full of these fond memories.

As you bask in the warm glow of good will and patriotism, take a moment to honor the women and men who fight for our freedom every day. The troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The Navy officers in undisclosed locations at sea. The decision makers who make tough calls. The administrative staff that keeps everything standing. But also the compliance officers and financial industry employees.

Surprised at the last addition? With the rise of cyber terrorism threats, compliance offers and financial industry employees can play a huge role in protecting our national interest, treasure, and security.  Why? It all stems from the USA PATRIOT Act. Implemented in 2001 as a result of the 911 attacks, the USA PATRIOT Act is designed to give the government more power to keep us safe in the cyber sphere.

The USA PATRIOT Act was implemented to strengthen US measures to prevent, detect, and prosecute international money laundering and financing of terrorism. It criminalized the financing of terrorism, increased civil and criminal penalties for money laundering, and amplified the scrutiny of foreign financial institutions and interactions that are prone to abuse. This act gave federal officials the tools and freedom they need to better trace and intercept terrorist communications, and improved information sharing between financial institutions and the United States government.

The USA PATRIOT Act has had a very controversial reception to say the least. Many oppose it as it gives the government a lot of spying power. (Think young boy in a spy store with a mother that does not know how to say no.) Others are supportive, valuing safety over privacy. (How else would the real life versions of Jack Bauer and Alex Parrish get things done?) Regardless of how you feel about it personally, it is important to understand what the act does and how it affects you.

What you should know about the USA PATRIOT Act
• Encourages information sharing: with communication between US financial institutions and the government encouraged, law enforcement teams have more tools to disrupt and prevent terrorist acts and money laundering.
• Makes account ownership and identify more transparent: sets standards for customer identify requirements when opening an account.
• Keeps a closer watch on Correspondent Accounts.
• Suspicious Activity in accounts must be reported by brokers and dealers.
• Expands wiretap policies to stay current with modern technology: lengthens the list of criminal activities for which wiretap can be ordered, makes cellphones and laptops fair game for wiretapping.
• Empowers Attorney General, so they can order education records without student consent when investigating or prosecuting terror crimes.
• Creates stricter guidelines for Visa requirements for immigrants.


Patriotism is more than cultivating a love for hamburgers and fireworks; it is about becoming an engaged citizen and taking an interest in policies that influence your rights and safety. To learn more, we invite you to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask about our USA PATRIOT Act training.

by: Madelyn Fagan

Quality People. Quality Content.

May 31, 2016. - At Edcomm Banker’s Academy we believe that the greatest resource of any organization is the potential of its people. Christine Belusko, our talented and dedicated Content Writer and Editor, is a shining example of this.

SMEWe are thrilled to congratulate Christine Belusko for earning her Master’s Degree! Detail-oriented and passionate about writing, Christine graduated with a Master’s Degree in English from Arcadia University. Her accomplishment is a tribute to her strong work ethic and commitment to excellence.

At Edcomm Banker’s Academy we believe that commitment to excellence starts with the cultivation of your employees. Our training product, with its extensive Professional Skill development focus, demonstrates this. However, it is the passion and effort of our Content and Creative team members like Christine that make our course material outstanding and a cut above the rest.

As your training provider, our goal is to help your employees reach their potential by providing the best content. We edit our content on a quarterly basis and stay on top of industry trends. As a company, we continually strive to improve our product and your experience.

As such, Edcomm Banker’s Academy is excited to announce we are assembling a permanent Board of Advisors! This Board of Advisors is a dream team of subject matter experts in the compliance field. These seasoned specialists will guide us on industry trends and recommend enrichments to our course content. Edcomm has enjoyed a long relationship with an excellent assortment of Subject Matter professionals. This formalized advisory board is an evolution of that system.

Quality content starts with quality people. We cannot wait to introduce you to our Subject Matter Experts and share their specialties with you!
The official Board of Advisors announcement will be released in the summer of 2016. Please stay tuned.

by Madelyn Fagan

Bite-sized Learning: the Microlearning Approach

Goldfish microlearningMay 12, 2016. - Goldfish have better attention than people. It sounds far-fetched, but research supports this finding.  Goldfish have an attention of 9 seconds. Humans have an attention span of 8 seconds when smartphones are a factor, according to a study conducted by Microsoft that surveyed 2,000 Canadians and analyzed the brain activity of 112 participants using electroencephalograms. 

When text messages, news alerts, and email notifications ping at you all day, it can be hard to stay focused. So how can you keep your learners engaged in training, and not distracted by their cellphones?

Cut it down into bite-sized pieces. Instead of garnishing your training with extraneous information, improve the learning experience by showcasing key topics. The art of honing in on important information is called microlearning.

Brian Bishop, virtualwirks’ Practice Leader for Workforce Performance, compares microlearning as the CliffsNotes for training. This is a clever and accurate analogy. Microlearning makes training easy and approachable. This highlighter approach is highly effective in signaling to employees what information is essential to notice and to memorize.

Ways you can Train Smarter, Not Harder:
• Create Role-based Assignments. – Deliver your learning in focused, role-based assignments.
• Keep Content Short and Snappy. – Get to the point fast, but keep it interesting.
 Focus on One Topic. – Center on one topic, idea, or concept at a time.
• Spice it Up.  – Diversity the delivery of the training. Use videos, games, quizzes, activities etc. The variety helps keep engagement up.
• Make it Mobile.  – Make sure your training is cellphone compatible. This way, employees can take training anywhere, anytime.
• Empower Employees. – Flip the traditional training model, by letting employees reach out for training at their own pace, when they are ready to learn.

There are a lot of advantages using a microlearning approach in your training. The concise nature gives you freedom to train students on a wider variety of material and to keep them informed of hot industry trends. Employees feel like their time is valued when they are not bogged down with concepts that are non-essential to their role. It re-imagines training from a task to dread, to an activity worth anticipating with excitement!

At Edcomm Banker’s Academy we are passionate about designing training to make it more appetizing to employees through microlearning strategies. Everything—from our standard, freshly vetted topics, to our diverse quiz formats, to our rich video assets is concise and engaging. Please reach out to us directly to learn about how we can help you incorporate microlearning objects into your training!

by Madelyn Fagan

Bishop, Brian. “4 steps to microlearning mastery.” eLearning Industry. 14 May 2013. Web. 2 May 2016.
Makhlouf, Jack. “Microlearning : Strategy, Examples, Applications, & More. ELearning solutions. Elearningmind. 15 April 2015. Web. 2 May 2016.
Malamed, Connie. “ Is microlearning the solution you need? A closer look at bite-sized learning.” The eLearning coach. For desiging smarter learning experiences. 2015. Web. 2 May 2016.
Watson, Leon. “Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones.” The Telegraph. 15 May 2015.Web. 2 May 2016.


April 26, 2016 - Cybersecurity. It is a big buzz word in the working world. If you are not a tech savvy person, it can be intimidating. You might renew the anti-virus software on your computer religiously (because there are lovely pop-ups that remind you when to do it, or because your free version is about to expire), but do you ever stop to wonder why it is worth it? Why do a few minutes of updates, regular password change-ups, or annual Cybersecurity training matter?

It comes down to this: a cyber threat to your computer is a cyber threat to other aspects of your life. You work hard to build up your personal credit and digital reputation. Without the right knowledge of how to protect your credit card information and Social Security Number, all that effort can go down the drain faster that a Philadelphia sports team’s winning streak.

On a macro level, cyber threats are more than a personal inconvenience. Much like rumors of casual dress Fridays, cyber threats spread quickly and are contagious. A carefree click of the mouse on an unsafe hyperlink or email can put your whole company at risk, and can potentially have permanent effects on its financial and reputational well-being.

According to IBM’s 2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, which observed cyber threat trends for over 1,000 clients in 133 monitored countries, 95% of successful cyber-attacks are due to human error. Even more concerning, the most targeted industry is the Finance and Insurance sector.

How can you avoid being part of the 95% and stay safely in the 5% club? At Edcomm Banker’s Academy, we believe the best counter approach is education.  

Step One: Recognize the Threat
Know the signs that you have been hacked:
• Slow internet- might indicate a denial of service attack is in progress
• Deletion of important files- could mean a criminal has infiltrated your computer
• Grammar mistakes and misspelled words – may be a sign of a spoofing or phishing attempt
• Sudden internet browser changes- might signal malware has been installed

Step Two: Protect Yourself
Be proactive in your solutions and prevention measures:
• Find and download an anti-virus software you trust (McAfee, Norton Security, Bitdefender, eScan, Kaspersky, Zone Alarm)
• Scan your computer for spyware, viruses, and other cyber threats on a regular basis
• Secure your Wi-Fi Network by making it password protected
• Always track and keep an eye on your credit information to minimize damage
• Change your passwords every 3 months
• Strengthen your passwords with a mixture of numbers, characters, upper case lower case letters
• Limit employee access to the internet, and their authority to install software
• Communicate and conduct business with companies you know and trust
• Only visit websites you trust. Check with your IT team if you are unsure.

Step Three: Learn More
• Educate all your employees, not just IT Specialists of this importance
• Read articles on new cyber-crime trends
• Maintain constant vigilance

As technology advances, so does the complexity of potential cyber threats. Do not let potential cyber security threats frighten you or your employees. Instead, be proactive to minimize the costly and disruptive impact of potential threats. Let Edcomm Banker’s Academy be your guide.

We are proud to announce that in collaboration with Logical Operations, the official courseware provider to Microsoft, Cisco, and Compita, we are launching a CyberSAFE curriculum! The new CyberSAFE curriculum is engaging and easy for employees to understand, even if they have limited technical knowledge. It is designed to empower and to protect your team members by teaching them how to recognize and to address common risks. Please feel free to contact us directly to learn more!

by Madelyn Fagan

“2014 Cyber security intelligence index.” IBM. (2014). Web. 18 April 2016.
Magid, Larry. “Why cyber security matters to everyone.” Forbes. (2014). Web. 18 April 2016.
“Why is cybersecurity important to me?.” Air Force Association. Northrop Grumman Foundation. (2013). Web. 18 April 2016.

Get Visual: the Value of Video Training

April 15, 2016 - 65% of people are visual learners. Since this could potentially represent more than half your work force, you need to customize your training to fit their needs. According to Forbes, Microsoft estimates its video training initiatives have saved them approximately $13.9 million per year. Not only does video training save you money, it improves the quality of learning.
Video Training
Videos improve the quality of learning because they visually bridge concepts to the real world. Sure, you can have employees memorize definitions from a PowerPoint. However, when videos are reflective of actual work situations, employees are more likely to pay attention. For example, they will remember why it is important to be alert for phishing attempts, instead of just the definition of a phishing attempt.
Video mediums have a knack for making training engaging and fun. According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland, students who train using videos have significantly higher levels of satisfaction than users in a traditional classroom setting. Forbes Insight says 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text. A Cisco Global Survey shows that 87% of young executives prefer a work environment that is invested in video training. Employees universally love video training, no matter where they are on their career path.
Before you pull out your iPhone to start recording homemade, compliance, educational videos, keep in mind it matters what videos you choose. According to Cynthia Brame, Ph D., of Vanderbilt University there are ways to make your videos more effective.

What Makes Videos More Effective:
•  Highlight key information
•  Keep videos short
•  Use assessment questions to test knowledge
•  Get rid of distracting information, images, and sounds
•  Match your video to the audio
•  Be conversational in your tone
•  Keep in mind your video audience at all times

Using video in training in the right way can improve comprehension rates dramatically. Still not convinced video training is not for you? Check out the study conducted by Dr. Sara Aloraini about the impact of multimedia use on students’ academic achievement in the College of Education at King Saud University. Dr. Aloraini’s study showed that students who are presented material in multimedia format (sound, images, and video clips) perform better on academic achievement tests than students who are not presented material in the traditional way (through dialogue and follow up discussion).
At Edcomm Banker’s Academy, we recognize how cost-effective, applicable, and enriching video training can be. Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like to learn how we integrate state-of-the-art Edcomm Training videos into your training!
by Madelyn Fagan
For more information on this hot industry trend, check out some of the articles below.


Aloraini, Sara. “The impact of using multimedia on students’ academic achievement in the College of Education at King Saud University.” Journal of King Saud University – Languages and Translations 14.2 (2012) : 75-82. Web. 14 April 2016.
Brame, Cynthia. “Effective educational videos.” Center for Teaching. Vanderbilt University, 2015. Web. 14 April 2016.
Gutierrez, Karla. “Studies confirm the power of visuals in elearning.” SHIFT’s E-Learning Blog. SHIFT Distruptive E-Learning. 8 July 2014. Web. 14 April 2016.                                                                                  "Why Visual Teaching? .” Visual Teaching Alliance. Visual Teaching Alliance: Professional Development for Primary, Secondary & University Educators/Administrators, n.d. Web. 14 April 2016.                   Zhang, Dongsong, et al. “Instructional video in e-learning: assessing the impact of interactive video on learning effectiveness.” Information & Management 42 (2006): 15-27. Web. 14 April 2016.

  • We switched to Banker’s Academy over a year ago from a different online training program. The cost savings was tremendous - which has been very helpful in this time of budget cuts. We found that the training content is precise, to the point, and always current. It doesn't have a lot Read More
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