U.S. savings bonds -- those paper certificates that helped raise billions to finance America's campaign in World War II -- are going electric.
"After Dec. 31, 2011, savings bonds will no longer be sold in the paper form. Only electronic savings bonds that have been out now for several years will be available," said Teresa Helems, assistant branch manager at the Better Banks outlet at 10225 N. Knoxville Ave.
Existing paper bonds will remain valid and continue to earn interest from the date of issue or until redeemed, she said.
"We're here to help customers who want to set up an electronic account for bond purchases," said Helems.
"We're explaining the change to our current customers. We don't want it to be a shock when they can't get the paper bonds anymore," she said.
"If customers want to transfer their present bonds to one electronic account, we can help them do that," said Helems.
The electronic conversion is expected to save the U.S. government $70 million over the next five years, she said.
"There is a convenience factor to the electronic bond. They can't get lost or stolen," said Helems.
Most of the bond sales the bank sees in savings bonds come as gifts, she said. "We see people buying them for Christmas, graduations, weddings and births," said Helems.
Electronic bonds are sold at face value with "ee" bonds now earning a fixed rate of interest of 1.1 percent in effect through Oct. 31.
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