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In a shop, a cashier (or checkout operator) is a person who scans the goods through a machine called a cash register that the customer wishes to purchase at the retail store. The items are scanned by a Barcode positioned somewhere on the item. This is done by the use of laser technology. After all of the goods have been scanned, the cashier then collects the payment (in cash, check and/or by credit/debit card) for the goods or services exchanged, records the amount received, makes change, and issues receipts or tickets to customers. Cashiers will record amounts received and may prepare reports of transactions, reads and record totals shown on cash register tape and verify against cash on hand. A cashier may be required to know value and features of items for which money is received; may cash checks; may give cash refunds or issue credit memorandums to customers for returned merchandise; and may operate ticket-dispensing machines and the like.
In one form or another, cashiers have been around for thousands of years. In many businesses, such as grocery stores, the cashier is a "stepping stone" position. Many employers require employees to be cashiers in order to move up to customer service or other positions.
Cashiers are at risk of repetitive strain injuries due to the repeated movements often necessary to do the job, such as entering information on a keypad or moving product over a scanner. Included also is the physical strain of standing on one's feet for several hours in one spot. Because of this, many cashiers are only able to do a six hour long shift under different policies.
A less-current meaning of the term referred to the employee of a business responsible for receiving and disbursing money. In a non-retail business, this would be a position of significant responsibility. With an ever-larger proportion of transactions being done using cash substitutes (such as checks, credit cards, debit cards, etc.), the amount of cash handled by such employees has declined, and this usage of the word "cashier" has been largely supplanted by the title comptroller.
In a bank branch in the United Kingdom, a cashier is someone who enables customers to interact with their accounts, such as by accepting and disbursing money and accepting checks. In the United States, this job is called a bank teller.
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