Being a bank teller is one of the most demanding careers in the financial services industry. To be an effective bank teller you must pay attention to details, work quickly and efficiently and possess a wonderful personality that can help promote and sell the variety of bank products and services.
Bank tellers are the first line and premier face of any bank. They deal with the majority of the bank customers and handle deposits, withdrawals and access to safe deposit boxes. As part of the the transaction process, they must make sure each transaction is accounted for properly with a deposit or withdrawal slip that reflects the transaction. This paper trail verifies the dollar amounts, the customer account number and identification of the customer.
There are many products and services that banks want customers to purchase or know about. This may be a money market account or a special refinance rate. Since bank tellers see the majority of customers, they are required to determine ideal candidates for the variety of products and services. Often a teller has less than a minute to complete a transaction and refer a customer. More institutions are grading tellers on their ability to refer customers to the person who is responsible for closing the deal. The number of referrals a teller has may affect pay raises, bonuses and even employment status.
Attention to Detail
Bank tellers must be constantly aware of the little details, whether it be a miscalculation on a deposit slip of a few cents or a strange feel of a dollar bill. Tellers must balance their transactions and cash at the end of the day and therefore must have everything exact--to the penny. If they miss something, this can be hours of searching for the teller or a manager seeking the discrepancy. Too many errors can lead to dismissal. Other details pertain to discovering fraud or counterfeit bills. A teller may have hundreds of thousands of dollars pass through his window but still needs to be aware of the minute details signaling that something is wrong.
Bank tellers do not need any special qualifications to be hired. There was a time when teller trade schools were popular. This is no longer needed as banks train their own tellers on techniques as well as computer infrastructures specific to their institution. A bank teller should have at least a high school diploma or GED. Beyond this, banks are looking for individuals with a solid credit history and are free from a criminal record. The reason is simple, tellers have access to millions of dollars daily and need to be trustworthy and bondable.
It was once a joke, "Oh, they work banker's hours." Once upon a time working banker's hours meant working until around 3 p.m. daily. Today, most banks are open until 6 p.m. daily and on Saturdays. This means that most tellers are working a full 40-hour work week or more. Many banks have gone to hiring more part-time tellers to reduce costs of benefits and work with college student schedules.