Cash Only: The Vatican Can No Longer Take Electronic Payments

Make sure you bring cash with you if you are planning on visiting the Vatican because they can no longer take electronic payments.

According to NBC News, Deutsche Bank Italia, the bank that has provided the Vatican with electronic payment services for some 15 years now, announced on Thursday that they have pulled their authorization after December 31

The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that the bank pulled it’s authorization because the Vatican has yet to comply with European Union safeguards against money laundering.

What does that mean?

That means Italian banks are not authorized to operate within the Vatican, which is in the process of improving its mechanisms to combat laundering.

Giuseppe Amoruso, an Italian, said:

“It’s certainly a disadvantage. Credit cards provide a useful service, which needs to be accessible to everybody, everywhere.”

Fluger William Hunter, an American tourist, said:

“A lot of tourists don’t have cash on them, so they have to get euros and don’t know where to get them.”

According to the New York Times, the banking freeze has prompted speculation in the Italian press that a fresh scandal is about to erupt involving the Vatican’s finances.

Pope Benedict XVI has pledged to throw light on the Vatican’s finances as well as it’s ultrasecretive Institute for Works of Religion (aka the Vatican Bank). He has even hired René Brülhart, a Swiss expert in money laundering controls, to oversee the process.

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