The Bank of Italy has suspended all bank card payments in the Vatican including for tickets to its famous museum until further notice because of a failure to fully implement anti money laundering legislation, Italian media reported on Thursday.
The payments have been suspended since January 1 after the Bank of
Italy ordered Deutsche Bank Italia, which handles bank card payments on
Vatican territory, to deactivate its terminals because of a lack of
authorisation for the transactions.
The Vatican museum, which was visited by five million tourists last
year who paid a total of 91.3 million euros ($120 million), will now be
asking for payments in cash, La Repubblica daily reported.
The reports quoted Italian central bank sources saying the Vatican
does not respect international anti money laundering norms and an
Italian-registered bank such as Deutsche Bank Italia can therefore not
operate on its territory.
The suspension also includes payments at the Vatican pharmacy, the
post office and a few ships that operate in the world's tiniest state.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said contacts were underway with
other operators and the suspension of bank card payments should be
"short-lived", Corriere della Sera reported.
Pope Benedict XVI has vowed greater transparency in Vatican finances
and the operations of its bank, the Institute for Works of Religion
(IOR), which has been infiltrated by organised crime in the past.
Moneyval, a group of experts from the Council of Europe, said last
year that the Vatican had made huge strides in adapting its legislation
to new rules but that a lot of work remained to be done.