When people discuss banking and finance, tellerthey often underestimate the specialized skills required to process the millions of banking transactions that occur every day. The vital role of the bank tellers who handle these day-to-day transactions is often overlooked. In this lesson, we will explore how bank tellers could make or break the banking process!


In this lesson, you will learn about bank tellers and the work they do. You will learn how different types of items are deposited, explain the decision-making steps a bank teller goes through when cashing a check, and identify problems in processing deposits. You will also learn about the additional specialized skills tellers need in order to deal with new threats of fraud and stricter laws. At the conclusion of this lesson, you will be able to relate the knowledge to your own life and perhaps even value your local bank teller!


Step One: Read the following basic information about bank tellers.
In banking, a bank teller's function is key. Whenever a deposit is made at a bank, a teller has to determine if the item being deposited is cash (paper currency or coins) or non-cash (checks or money orders). Then the teller has to judge which cash and non-cash demands are legitimate, and when to pay out to the customer. If a bank teller makes the wrong decision, it could result in losses for the bank and maybe even for the teller! Click on the following link to learn more about the nature of a teller's work .

Step Two: Ask questions

  • Take a moment and record any questions that you might have on the role of a bank teller.
  • Share these questions with a classmate.

Step Three: Activity One: In this activity, you will read several scenarios involving a bank teller; then you will answer questions about the scenarios.

  • Read through the handout on your own.
  • The teacher will go over answers with you.

Step Four: Follow-up question.

  • In light of the examples given in Activity One, explain why the bank teller's job is very important in banking.

Step Five: Activity Two: This activity lists factors that a teller considers when deciding whether or not to accept a check. You will read the list and then write down what kind of knowledge tellers need to do their job.

  • Complete on your own or with a partner.
  • The teacher will go over answers with you.

Step Six: Follow-up questions.

  • How do banks decide whether or not to cash your check?
  • What kinds of knowledge do you think a bank teller needs?
  • In the past, the checks that were drawn at local banks could be delayed from crediting an account. Why do you think this happened?
  • Do you think banks delay crediting your account today? Why or why not?

Step Seven: Activity Three: In this activity, you will read the brief selection about banking laws, and then you will answer the included questions.

  • Read through and complete Activity Three.

Step Eight: Follow-up questions.

  • How has government law affected bank tellers?
  • Do you know of any specific laws that have affected bank tellers?
  • Do you think these laws are fair or unfair? Why?

Step Nine: The article Amid Fraud, Role of Bank Teller Changing deals with the growing responsibilities of bank tellers; read the article, and then answer the following questions.

  1. What are some of the new responsibilities of bank tellers?
  2. How is fraud becoming an even bigger concern to tellers and banks?
  3. What are banks doing about fraud beoming an even bigger issue?
  4. What are banks doing to combat this fraud?
  5. Describe some of the skills needed to be a good teller.


  • What are the pros and cons of bank tellers cashing checks?
  • Why is it important for banks to employ tellers who have certain specialized skills?
  • After learning all the characteristics and responsibilities of a bank teller, would you consider a job as a bank teller? Why or why not?


  • Get into groups of two.
  • Interview a local bank teller due by (date determined by teacher).
  • Use the interview handout sheet plus ask any additional questions you may have.
  • Write a reaction paper to the interview (or you may do an oral presentation).