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Essential Skills of a Bank Teller

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Bank tellers have a number of skills that help them do their jobs efficiently and effectively. A teller is the first person a customer sees when they enter the bank. To portray the bank in a positive light, tellers have to be friendly, courteous and have positive attitudes. They must pay attention to detail to prevent fraudulent activities or errors that could cost the bank a substantial amount of money.

Math Aptitude

Bank tellers must have a good math aptitude. They will be taking money and giving change throughout a large portion of the day. Tellers have to balance cash drawers at the end of the day and sometimes they have to balance the cash in the vault. If there is a shortage or overage, tellers must perform a mini-audit to locate the discrepancy.

Good Listener

A teller must be a good listener to understand exactly what a customer needs. After helping a customer solve his initial problem, a teller will listen to see if there are other products and services that might help the customer meet his financial goals. Customers give clues about their future needs when they talk. Tellers must be prepared to refer a customer to a sales associate or a manager to see if they can help the customer with a product or service.

Computer Skills

Tellers must know how to operate a computer. Sometimes tellers have to key in transactions, such as deposits, withdrawals and home equity line of credit payments and transfers. If a manager or sales associate opens a new account for a customer, they will often turn the paperwork and information over to the teller to key into the computer.

Problem Solver

Tellers must know how to handle simple customer problems. They are sometimes authorized to waive certain fees, such as overdraft charges. Bank tellers are still expected to conform to company policies and procedures while servicing customers.

Organization Skills

It is essential that a teller have good organizational skills. When customers have two or three transactions that must be processed, a teller should be capable of multitasking to competently take care of the client's needs. Being disorganized can cost the bank money if losses occur as a result.


Melvin J. Richardson has been a freelance writer for two years with Associated Content, and writes about topics such as banking, credit and collections, goal setting, financial services, management, health and fitness. Richardson has worked for several banks and financial institutions and gained invaluable experience and knowledge. Richardson holds a Master of Business Administration in Executive Management from Ashland University in Ashland Ohio.

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