In St. Peters Square and throughout the Vatican it is cash only. All electronic payments by bank cards have been suspended and the ‘hole in the wall’ machines are empty.
The action has been taken due to a failure to implement anti money laundering legislation. The decision caused problems for thousands of visitors to the world famous Vatican Museum as one explained: “A lot of tourists don’t have cash on them, so they have to get euros and don’t know where to get them.”
The suspension is also in force in the shops of the world’s tiniest state. Sources from the Bank of Italy have been quoted as saying the Vatican has not yet reached international standards in the fight against money laundering.
“An EU member country must respect certain laws and legislations to prevent money-laundering, and therefore such laws must be applied also to a country that is non-European, like the Vatican. If these rules are not followed, the Bank of Italy can refuse to give them authorisation,” explained lberto Sodini, an accountant and business consultant.
Deutsche Bank Italia which handles the bank card payments across the Vatican was ordered to deactivate all its terminals. A spokesman for the Vatican said the interruption should not last long and that it is talking to other providers.