U.S. savings bonds available via the Net

The Treasury Department today launched a new Internet site that for the first time will allow the public to buy savings bonds online.

Using an Internet browser, an individual can log onto the Savings Bond Connection site (www.savingsbonds.gov), enter personal information such as name and address, order a savings bond and charge the transaction to a credit card. The savings bond will arrive in the mail within a couple weeks.

In the past, the public could buy savings bonds only in banks, post offices and through payroll savings plans. Treasury hopes the site will make the purchase of savings bonds easier.

"We are promoting savings in new ways," said Lawrence Summers, Treasury Secretary. "It has never been possible to buy a savings bond at two in the morning. Now it is."

Treasury offers two different types of savings bonds, both of are available on the Internet site. The bonds are available in various denominations, but each transaction is limited to $500.

"I think it will provide a new option for our customers," said Van Zeck, commissioner of the Public Debt. "I think it will appeal to those people who feel the Internet is the way to do business."

The Bureau of Public Debt, which oversees sales of savings bonds, will operate the site, which runs on an IBM RS/6000 F50 server and uses IBM Corp.'s Net.Commerce, DB2 Universal Database and the IBM Payment Server to conduct online sales. The site currently accepts Visa and MasterCard credit cards and uses Secure Sockets Layer or Secure Electronic Transaction technology.

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