AT&T has become the first major US mobile carrier to provide a cryptocurrency payment option to its 150+ million customers (as of Q4 2018). The company ranked #9 in the US Fortune 500 lists based on total revenue.
Customers can now “pay from anywhere in the world quickly and easily” using their mobile devices – the new payment option has been already added to the app.
AT&T started with BCH and BTC. Payments are handled by BitPay that enables businesses to accept cryptocurrencies and then converts the funds immediately into fiat currency.
The news was announced on May 23. In the blog post, Kevin McDorman (vice president, AT&T Communications Finance Business Operations) said “We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”
Using BitPay is currently limited to paying bills for AT&T services online. To purchase phones or sign up for a new service, customers will need to use traditional payment methods.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard of a major company start accepting cryptocurrency payments in a way that isn’t through some passthrough third party like Flexa, as one Reddit user aptly remarked.
But cryptocurrency as a method of payment is yet to reach widespread acceptance. Still, recent innovations such as Lightning Network, and progress from payment processors such as Coinbase Commerce, BitPay, and Flexa, make crypto an increasingly desirable way of payment.
The most recent news about the upcoming Facebook’s foray into the crypto world will undoubtedly facilitate the adoption. Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency, is expected to hit the market in the coming months. Though, no exact date has been communicated officially yet.
It is almost certain that other major corporations will follow the suit and begin accepting crypto for payment.
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