WILLISTON, N.D. – The City of Williston is pleased to announce that it now accepts digital cryptocurrency payments for utility bills.
“We have partnered with BitPay, the largest virtual payment merchant whose partners include Microsoft and Facebook,” explained Finance Director, Hercules Cummings. “We are the first municipality in the State of North Dakota, and the third in the nation, to offer this service.”
Currently, utility bill payments are the only bills eligible to be paid with cryptocurrency. Quality assessments will be conducted, and volumes evaluated, before migrating other bills such as landfill, permits, and licenses.
In addition to BitPay, the City of Williston also accepts more traditional cash, check, credit card, and automatic payment plan (ACH) payment methods. Citizens can also sign up to receive their utility bill statements electronically.
Beginning June 2021, citizens will 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.
“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,” stated Cummings. “There are also a number of advantages to utilizing these online payment methods including security, convenience, and cost savings.”
With services like Google Pay and Apple Pay, debit and credit cards are linked into the system, but a virtual account number, or tokenization, is created for every transaction meaning financial information is not revealed to the recipient.
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.
There is a cost savings to paying via cryptocurrency as well, with BitPay charging a one percent fee to pay online, versus a three percent fee for Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
Individuals interested in paying their utility bill with cryptocurrency can visit cityofwilliston.com and complete the following steps:
- Click on Pay Your Water Bill and select Pay with Cryptocurrencies.
- Enter account information (i.e., account number, name, email, phone number) to receive an emailed Bitpay invoice.
- Select the digital wallet and desired cryptocurrency.
- Fill in payment details.
- Validate the transaction.
Individuals can establish a digital wallet directly with BitPay or via another service such as Coinbase or Binance. When individuals pay with cryptocurrency, the transaction is at a locked-in exchange rate. BitPay uses modern technology to convert the Bitcoin into fiat while shielding the customer from any volatility risks.
“This payment diversification shows that Williston is highly interested, adaptable, and accepting to new and emerging technologies, driving value down to our citizens,” emphasized Cummings. “It delivers a statement that Williston embraces technological changes, transformation, and innovation.”