WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said bank sales of paper savings bonds will convert to an all-digital system in 2012.
The switch is part of the department's "all-electronic initiative," which was begun last year by the Bureau of Public Debt.
The change to an all-digital system for savings bonds that used to be purchased at the neighborhood bank is expected to save the department $120 million within five years. The savings come from the elimination of the cost of paper, printing and mailing of paper savings bonds, CNNMoney reported Friday.
Starting next year, buying a savings bond will require opening an account at the Treasury Department. To give a bond as a gift, the recipient of the bond will have to have a Treasury Department account.
Department spokeswoman Joyce Harris said Series I bonds purchased with tax refunds will still be available in paper in 2012. But that may be switched over to an all-digital system in the future, Harris said.