January 3, 2013 (Romereports.com)
In a bid by Italian financial authorities against money laundering,
starting January 1 the Vatican will no longer accept credit card payments
for many of its services.
The new measure will take its greatest toll on the Vatican Museums
, where up until now visitors could pay using their credit cards, thanks to a service offered by Deutsche Bank Italia. However, other Vatican subsidiaries affected include its pharmacy
, the supermarket
and its post office
, all of which must now depend on cash payments.
The Bank of Italy, which supervises the Italian financial sector, considers Vatican City as an extracommunitarian country, and, since it is not part of the European Union, it is therefore not integrated into the community's common standards on vigilance. As a result, it will not allow Italian banks to operate within the tiny, sovereign city-state.
Until an agreement is reached, only cash payments will be accepted inside the Vatican, or card payments from the IOR, or Vatican Bank.