Cashier – definition and meaning

A cashier is a person who operates the cash register in shops and restaurants. They also operate cash registers at movie theaters, hotels, and other types of businesses. The term may also refer to an employee in a company who is responsible for receiving and disbursing money.

In the UK, a cashier might also be somebody who works in a bank. The employee deals directly with customers. In the United States, people call this person a ‘bank teller.’

In some small businesses, the cashier might have another duty. For example, a hairdresser may also operate the cash register. A cash register is a machine that stores money. It also records how much the business received from each sale. The cash register prints out the receipt. In the UK, people also call it a till.

The term comes from Middle French caissier, which means ‘treasurer‘.

Cashier in a supermarket - duties
Cashiers need to be honest and good at dealing with people.

Cashier – duties

Shop cashiers may have some or all of the following duties:

  • Scan customer’s shopping, and establish prices.
  • Receive payment in the form of cash, credit card, check, vouchers, or automatic debits.
  • Issue refunds and credits. They also give receipts to customers.
  • Count how much money is in the cash register drawer. This happens at the beginning of the shift. They must also make sure the amount is correct, and that there is enough change.
  • Greet customers as they enter the store.
  • Make sure the checkout areas are clean and presentable.
  • Deal with customer complaints. They may also try to solve them.
  • Help customers with questions and inquiries.

Employers say the most important quality for this job is trustworthiness. Cashiers must be trustworthy because they handle cash. They must also be courteous and efficient.

Many young people are cashiers. In fact, the position offers a great opportunity to learn the employer’s business. The post may serve as a stepping stone to other more senior positions.

Cashiers and self-checkout systems

With the advent of self-checkout systems, the role of cashiers in many physical stores has changed. In stores with self-checkout systems, cashiers are typically tasked with assisting customers at the self-checkout kiosks and troubleshooting any issues.

Cashiers in E-Commerce

With the growth of online shopping, some “cashiers” now work in roles related to e-commerce. Cashiers in this segment handle customer service inquiries, manage online transactions, and assist with “click and collect” services (where customers order online and pick up in-store).

University Cashier’s Office

At a university, the Cashier’s Office is a section of the Fiscal Services Department. It is responsible for receiving and safeguarding all payments and deposits made to the college.

The Office deals with registration fees, library fines, housing fees, and dining fees. It also deals with parking permits, citation payments, and other miscellaneous payments.

In some countries, people call it the Bursar’s Office.

The Office is also responsible for petty cash reimbursements and faculty and staff payroll distribution. In this context, payroll refers to worker’s wages.

As a verb, the term means to dismiss a person from a military organization. They also lose their honor in the dismissal.

A cashier’s check (British: cheque) is a check that a bank guarantees. The money has been drawn directly from the customer’s account.