AT&T, a telecom giant, and a fortune 500 company had previously become the first major mobile provider to accept bitcoin for bill payments through the AT&T website and the myAT&T mobile app, 150 million AT&T customers received the opportunity to pay their cell phone bill using cryptocurrency.
The ideas for accepting bitcoins as payment were pitched by a bitcoin payment service provider – BitPay. The Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh is ever the optimist about the possible domino effect that would follow if big brands like AT&T start accepting crypto as payment normalizing cryptocurrency into everyday life. “The smaller companies are new to the payments space. They don’t understand how it works, and they are just so busy with their road map. They can’t see that by adding bitcoin, they’re going to increase their revenue a couple of percentage points every month. They don’t seem to care about that, though its cheaper than a credit card, too. The big brands see that this is innovative, and they want to be a part of that.” -he says.
AT&T had been asked by customers if they could pay via bitcoin and recognized the demand for it. Eventually, six months ago, they finally decided to move forward with bitcoin payments, despite the bitcoin price hitting an all-time low during that period. However, once they realize they do not need to hold the bitcoin, thereby minimizing their risk, they became more open to accepting crypto payments. The company basically cashes out the bitcoins into fiat currency immediately.
Maybe it seems like very calculated and zero-risks movement into the bitcoin world, but it has sparked a lot of interest among the public and gives hope to more widespread adoption of cryptocurrency. Sonny Singh hopes that when a big brand like AT&T accepts bitcoin, it makes it easier to convince others to do the same.