Movie theater giant AMC to accept Apple Pay by 2022

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Longtime Apple Pay holdout AMC is changing its tune on digital payments after being saddled with more than a year of sagging revenue thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the company's quarterly earnings call for the second quarter of 2021, AMC announced it is building systems to support both Apple Pay and Google Pay, reports Variety. A rollout is planned by 2022.

America's largest movie theater chain is also preparing to accept bitcoin for tickets and concessions, which is believed to be a consideration for a wave of younger investors that now back the company as a "meme stock."

Whether Apple Pay will be available for both tickets and concessions is unknown, though such a scenario is likely considering AMC runs both departments and is extending the option for bitcoin.

AMC is facing down a dramatic decrease in profits as the COVID-19 pandemic kept theatergoers at home for more than a year. Even now, some areas in the U.S. hold mandates that limit theater occupancy to halt spread of the virus. Most states are back to full operations, according to CinemaSafe, though a rise in delta variant cases might reignite calls for a lockdown.

In December, Warner Bros. dinged AMC's hopes for a quick recovery when it announced a temporary pause to its theatrical window for 2021. Responding to an uptick in COVID-19 case number, the company said it would premiere all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max alongside theater screenings. Warner Bros. is expected to return its slate to a theatrical window in 2022.

AMC managed $444.7 million in the second quarter, down from $1.5 billion during the same period in 2019.