01 September 2015

After six weeks, credit card payments return to the Vatican

13 February 2013  |  6556 views  |  3 credit card chip

Visitors to the Vatican City can once more use their credit cards for purchases and ATM withdrawals, following the end of a six week ban over money laundering concerns.

On the 1 January the Bank of Italy suspended all card payments in the Vatican until further notice over a failure to implement anti-money laundering law.

Deutsche Bank Italia, which handled bank card payments in the city-state was ordered to deactivate terminals, forcing tourists and pilgrims to use cash.

According to Reuters, spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has confirmed that Swiss card payment specialist Aduno has now taken over processing. The Bank of Italy does not need to approve the arrangement because Aduno is based outside of the EU.

Cards are now being accepted again, enabling pilgrims flocking to the state in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation to pay for their souvenirs with plastic.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member | 14 February, 2013, 08:57

Do the AML concerns go away because a non EU acquirer has been appointed? I guess that the Vatican still is using Euro as the currency and are the Swiss regulators in acceptance that their payment institutions service entities for whom AML issues are raised. And furthermore, is it OK for the card schemes that the AML rules are circumvented?

 

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Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley | 14 February, 2013, 11:21

Strange because the EU reported back in June 2012 which non-EU Countries are considered as having equivalent AML systems to the EU - and Switzerland is amongst them. So is it that Italy has a 'stronger' flavour? 

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/company/docs/financial-crime/3rd-country-equivalence-list_en.pdf

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Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 15 February, 2013, 17:56

Guards from Switzerland. Now, a cards processor from Switzerland. Maybe it's time the EU accepted that 'what happens in Vatican stays in Vatican'! 

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