Revised fall 2008
Working at a bank as a teller, can at times be a high stress job. Hundreds of customers come through the bank everyday, and the teller must be courteous and professional for every new transaction. As a place of business that deals with the storage and safe keeping of money, the customer expects the teller to be an expert at their job. If the customer feels the tellers are not experts, or has any doubt about the security of their money, they will take their business elsewhere. Tellers are the front line defense of a bank. They are the first person the customer will interact with or bring questions regarding their money. Tellers make or break the quality of a bank.
This isn't a job for simple mistakes. Tellers must be meticulous with their handling of money, or they won't have a job for long. They are expected to take in and give out large sums of cash, with zero mistakes.
A tellers job takes place inside of a bank. There isn't a standard set of bank hours, but at Western Security Bank in Billings, MT, the hours of operation for the lobby are: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm. The drive-through hours are: Monday-Friday, 7:30am-5:00pm, and Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm. Tellers are given a cash drawer with a certain amount of money (the amount varies between banks.) A computer is necessary for the input of deposits, and keeping track of cash exchanges. A machine called "MVX" is needed to process, and double check all the transactions the tellers do during the work day.
Most of the rules that govern tellers are told to them when they are hired. To reinforce the rules placed on them, they are given a handbook with every rule the bank has. After one week the new teller must take a short test over some of what the handbook has in it. These are just the banks rules. Tellers must also know and follow state and federal laws. This information is given to the teller through instructional video or internet courses. These courses must be watched once a year, with a short test over the information. The rules are very extensive, and put in place to protect the bank, the customer, and the employees.
The dress code is a major stressing point. At Western Security Bank, males must wear at least: slacks, button-up shirt, and a tie. Females must wear business attire.
General customer service rules apply to tellers. Some of these are written in the handbook, but most are generally unwritten rules most retail employees would know. For example, treat customers with respect, no yelling, swearing, etc… The rules that are written are: greet a customer within the first 10 seconds of arrival, and end the transaction by asking if there is anything more you can help the customer with.
Each teller is issued a cash drawer with a certain amount of money. The teller must maintain this amount below a certain amount (every bank is different, with ranges between $3,000-$15,000 dollars.) If the cash drawer is above the allowed limit, the teller must sell money to the vault. The teller supervisor does random checks to ensure the cash levels are being maintained properly.
Maintaining security of money in the vault has many controls over it. Everything is under dual-control. First to get into the vault there are two halves of the combination that must be entered. Then once inside the vault there are two doors that need to be unlocked before getting to the money. The teller supervisor will have one key, and the vault teller will have the other. Each teller has his or her own safe to store their cash drawer in, and a key to unlock it. When a teller goes inside the vault, they always need another person there with them. All money and personal customer information is stored in the vault.
Tellers deal with a lot of account numbers and social security numbers for their customers, all of which are confidential. If a piece of paper has confidential information on it, it must to shredded, or stored within the vault. Tellers must not discuss anything to do with customer accounts outside of the workplace.
Each bank has different measures in place they must follow in the chance of a robbery. These are not to be discussed outside of the workplace, otherwise it could compromise the security of the banks employees and customers. The same can be said for opening and closing procedures.Most banks are in accordance with the FDIC. It sets all the rules and procedures for banks. Also all the legal information, documentation are all kept on file. The FDIC also created the Equal Housing Lender Laws, which allow anyone of sex, color, race, origin etc.. to be denied a housing loan.
Burden of the Load
With all the strict rules placed upon tellers, extreme secruity measures are taken to enfore the safest way to protect you and your personal information, as well as protecting the bank and its assests. The Teller is responsible for the bank and its money. A mistake can lead to and inditement. You as a teller are responsible for distributing the proper amount, and taking in the amount of cash, checks and transactions each day. Counting, and adding, and punching numbers all day long.
Escape of Law
Banks have become set in their ways about how they police their employees, so I don't foresee changes occurring with our current bank structure. A person can already do most of their banking needs without ever stepping into a bank. All this can be done through the internet. Through internet banking, a person can create manage any account they. People will be able to access their accounts with greater ease because you wont have to deal with "banker's hours." Customers will still need to make deposits, so make ATM's be able to scan checks and cash directly into the account. ATM's can already access accounts, so it could tell you right away if someone gave you a bad check. Internet banking, on-line bill pay, and balance summarys online, safe on tons of paper and lots of handwriting. And if thats not a logical idea, maybe we should eliminate cash all together and just use credit cards/debit cards.