The City of Williston in North Dakota is now offering an additional option to make payments for utility bills in digital cryptocurrencies. The city administration has partnered with crypto payment processor BitPay to start accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum for utility bills.
This move makes the City of Williston the first municipality in the State of North Dakota and only the third in the U.S. to accept cryptocurrency payments.
“We are exploring more payment methods to keep pace with existing payment alternatives, deliver to a growing customer demand, and cater to users of all types,” said Hercules Cummings, finance director for the City of Williston.
The municipality will initially accept cryptocurrency payments only for utility bills, with BitPay processing all cryptocurrency payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos (PAX), and several other cryptocurrencies.
After conducting quality assessments and volumes evaluation, the payment option will be offered to other bills such as landfill, permits, and licenses.
In addition to the cryptocurrency payment option, the City of Williston also accepts traditional cash, check, credit card, and automatic payment plan (ACH) payment methods.
Beginning June 2021, citizens will also have the option to make payments via Google Pay, Apple Pay, and pay-by-text. By the end of the year, PayPal and Venmo will be additional virtual payment options.
However, there will be a cost saving by paying with cryptocurrency as BitPay charges only a one percent fee to pay online, compared to a three percent fee for Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
“There are also a number of advantages to utilizing these online payment methods including security, convenience, and cost savings,” added Cummings.
These digital methods also enable contactless payments and allow individuals to pay from any location instead of having to visit City Hall during business hours.
Founded in 2011, BitPay celebrates its 10th birthday this year as one of the oldest cryptocurrency companies. In July 2018, BitPay had become the first blockchain payment processor and the first non-exchange to secure a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
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