Vatican ‘cash only’ as bank blocks electronic payments
Saturday, January 05, 2013
By Frances D’emilio, Vatican City
It’s “cash only” now for tourists at the Vatican wanting to buy museum tickets, souvenirs, and other services after Italy’s central bank decided to block electronic payments, including credit cards, at the tiny city-state.
Deutsche Bank Italia — which had provided the Vatican with electronic payment services for 15 years — said the Bank of Italy had pulled its authorisation after Dec 31.
The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported the Italian central bank took the action because the Holy See has not yet fully complied with EU safeguards against money laundering.
The Vatican says it is scrambling to solve the problem for thousands of visitors who flock to its museums. The Holy See had no immediate comment on the Bank of Italy’s reported reasons.