The merchant teller is a specialized category of bank tellers. The main difference is that a merchant teller works primarily with bank account transactions of business clients rather than consumer clients. Many times merchant tellers are former bank tellers who have excelled in the teller position. However, a merchant teller could also be an outside hire who has demonstrated skill and aptitude in similar environments.
A merchant teller must have a high school diploma or equivalent. According to education-portal.com, college degrees in business, accounting, or similar disciplines work as an advantage to the teller. Cash-handling and customer service experience are preferred--but not required--skills.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2008, the average salary for a teller was $23,610. Because the merchant teller has more duties and responsibilities than a bank teller, the salary for the merchant teller is typically slightly higher. As of May 2010, simplyhired.com reports the average salary for a merchant teller at $24,000.
Merchant tellers are responsible for making deposits, withdrawals, transfers, change orders and other account maintenance activities for business clients. They may also perform these functions for consumer clients on an as-needed basis. Many merchant tellers complete tasks that are associated with a position known as a vault teller. This added responsibility may include preparing and executing vault transactions as well as maintaining cash levels for the branch as a whole. Most banking institutions employ a full-time merchant teller because this person is the primary transactional contact for business clients.
Like general bank tellers, the job outlook for merchant tellers is steady but slow. With the availability of automated teller machines and online banking services, the need for tellers decreases. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6 percent increase in the number of tellers from 2008-2018.
The merchant teller is typically an accomplished former bank teller and that has demonstrated success in their position. The next step is often either a service specialist or teller supervisor. If successful, being promoted into management is a viable option.
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