AT&T claimed to be the first major US operator to allow its customers to pay their phone bill using cryptocurrency, after inking a deal with BitPay to process the transactions.

Through BitPay, AT&T will be able to accept Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash from customers making payments online or through the myAT&T app. BitPay will handle the actual transaction, displaying customer invoices in cryptocurrency dollars, accepting payment and converting the funds into traditional currency for the operator.

An AT&T representative told Mobile World Live it anticipates “a small percentage” of its customers will choose to use the new feature.

A survey conducted in April by investment company Blockchain Capital determined around 9 per cent of the US population owns Bitcoin, with the highest levels of reported ownership among 18-to-34 year-olds (18 per cent) and 34-to-44 year-olds (12 per cent).

Kevin McDorman, AT&T VP of Finance Business Operations, said in a statement the move is part of the operator’s ongoing effort to “improve and expand our services”.

“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.”