Bureau enriches online savings bond options

The Bureau of the Public Debt last week launched Savings Bonds Direct, a new online sales site designed to streamline savings bond purchases for the public.

Savings Bonds Direct replaces the Savings Bond Connection, the bureau's original online storefront.

The deal enables the Bureau of Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury, to expand its online transaction services for the sale of savings bonds, which can be purchased online at www.savingsbonds.gov.

Coinciding with that announcement, the bureau selected Govolution Inc. to be its exclusive provider of Internet credit card collection services.

"The original site went up about a year ago, and obviously you learn stuff from your customers," said bureau spokesman Pete Hollenbach, adding that the new site needed to be ready for the busy holiday buying season. "The whole process is a lot easier, and we wanted to be responsive and give our customers what they wanted."

What the customers wanted was a higher spending limit and more payment choices, which the new system offers. The online purchase limit for bonds is being doubled to $1,000 per transaction, and purchase confirmations are delivered instantaneously online. The bonds are mailed within seven to 10 days

The Govolution technology enhances service to citizens and the Treasury, said Jonathan Prince, chairman and chief executive officer of the Washington, D.C.-based company. The number of screens citizens must navigate to make a purchase has decreased, and Discover has been added to the credit cards accepted, along with Visa and MasterCard.

For government users, Govolution's invoice management capabilities enables bureau administrators to search and edit transactions using cardholder name, card number, transaction type, date range, transaction source or by an order identifier. The application also uses the Secure Sockets Layer encryption to protect data transmitted to and from the site.

Govolution's other federal clients include the departments of Education, Defense, Justice and Interior, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Communications Commission.

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