Police say the 67-year-old owner of Any Checks Cashed on the 5800 block of Old York Road in the city's Ogontz section left the store just before 12:30 p.m. and then came back around 1 p.m.
A man with a gun followed her inside.
Police say he forced his way behind the security glass to where the money was, but there was a violent struggle for the gun.
It was during that struggle, the victim was shot once in the chest. She was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
The suspect got away with money from the cash register.
The woman has not been identified, but neighbors say she was a wife, a mother, a business owner and a member of their community.
"When is this going to stop? Like losing innocent people, people that's trying to work and take care of their families," said neighbor Shawn Robinson.
Investigators used a power saw to remove what appeared to be a bullet from a metal wall inside the store.
Police say the entire robbery and killing played out on video captured inside the store.
Chopper 6 was overhead as police cordoned off an area of the block.
Jamal Tucker was picking up his daughter at the neighborhood day care, which is right next door to the check cashing business.
"It's like people are becoming desensitized to it. We see it and we walk past like it's the norm, and that's the sad part. People are becoming accustomed to it and we shouldn't be," said Tucker.
Another nearby business owner says he's worried that something like this will happen again with the holidays approaching.
"With Christmas coming, you never know what's going through people's minds. So, I just keep my family safe and pray to God," said the business owner.
Police are looking for a man in his 40s who was wearing all-black clothing at the time of the shooting.
Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.