My Biggest Banking Pet Peeve: Teller Indiscretion is Okay?

When it comes to banking, there is nothing I hate more then cashing a check. Why? Because the tellers count out your money as if there is zero chance that someone nearby can see or hear what is going on, which is not the case at all.

I used to have to cash petty cash checks for work, and the checks were for about $1,500. The tellers would count out the money for all nearby to see and hear. I always felt nervous walking away from the transaction, going to the parking lot, getting into my car, and driving back to work. I was afraid someone would try to mug me in the parking lot or even follow me in my car to mug me later. I felt like a walking target. I had the same problem when I withdrew a large sum of cash from my account to purchase a used car.

Why do bank tellers insist on counting money for customers indiscreetly? There is no need to lay out the bills on top of the counter, count them loudly, then hand them over to me sans envelope (even when I ask and provide the envelope, I might add). The fact that most banks I visit do not have any sort of glass separating the tellers from the customers makes this lack of discretion even worse. I know that tellers deal with so much money that it probably seems like no big deal to them, but it is a big deal to me.
If you work at a bank, I would love to hear your take on this. And if you have similar feelings about this practice or suggestions on how to deal with it, please tell me.

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Photo by Todd Kravos

Post by Amy Fontinelle


DogAteMyFinances said...

So just deposit it? I can't even remember the last time I had that much cash.

Melanie said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only person bothered by this! I pay cash for everything, so I'm often withdrawing large stacks of cash. Freaks me out every time!

Ginger said...

They do it to cover their asses. So do the payout people at the casino, etc. Anyone that handles large amounts of cash.

By counting it out loud in front of you they are avoiding any claims that they shorted you of your cash. This way it's all upfront and if there are errors they are caught right away.

If they didn't count it out loud for you, you could easily walk away with more or less than what you should have and it would cause all kinds of problems.

After the bank gives you the money, they don't care whether you're robbed or not. They just don't want to be the accused.

FB @ said...

Agreed w/ Ginger. It's procedure.

Amy said...

I guess I wasn't clear--I realize that it's procedure to count the money. And I think it's a good procedure. What I disagree with is counting the money in such an indiscreet way (loudly, putting the money on top of the counter, not handing it to me in an envelope) so that anyone in the vicinity can tell exactly how much cash I am getting.

Mary said...

I am actually a bank teller and I can tell you that if they have a lower counter that you can see, they're doing it wrong.

We DO have to count your money aloud and to you, even if the customer says it's not necessary.

Normally at all banks I've worked at, the teller will have a counter they work at and then an upper counter for the customer. Anything over $1,000 and they should count it at their counter and also ask if you would like an envelope.

Sorry you've had some bad experiences! :(

Anonymous said...

I work at a bank too, and it is procedure to count the money 3 times. Once when I'm counting out of my drawer, once to verify it, and then once out to the customer. I agree, that it is procedure so that YOU know that I didn't short you any $ and so I know I didn't short you or give you too much. Because then at the end of the day my drawer is off and I am in trouble.

My advice is if you are getting back a large sum of $ to ask that it be counted back to you in a manager's office or something. I had a customer do that once when he was getting back $7000.00 in cash and it worked out fine.

Harriet Faulks said...

I go to a few different banks (for myself and for my mother), and it does strike me as strange how there isn’t one thing that all banks do when it comes to counting money. I know of two banks that I go to that have a quick-count machine tucked in a discreet corner so that it’s only the teller and the customer who can see. Other tellers count manually but do it under the counter so that no one but they can see. These are the best solutions to this problem, I think.