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Vatican card payments suspended over AML concerns - reports

03 January 2013  |  10060 views  |  4 STOP

The Bank of Italy has suspended all card payments in the Vatican until further notice over a failure to implement anti-money laundering law, according to local press reports.

Italy's central bank ordered Deutsche Bank Italia, which handles bank card payments in the city state, to deactivate terminals on January 1, says AFP.

The move affects anyone attempting to pay by card at the Vatican museum, which was visited by around five million tourists, paying a total of more than EUR90 million, last year.

Visitors to the Vatican museum, as well as the pharmacy, post office and a handful of shops, are being asked to pay in cash.

Italian central bank sources told La Repubblica that the Vatican does not respect international AML rules and an Italian-registered Deutsche Bank Italia can therefore not operate on its territory.

A Vatican spokesman told Corriere della Sera that the state is working to find a non-Italian bank to work with and the suspension should be "short lived".

Comments: (4)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 08 January, 2013, 08:43

Why Deutsche Bank? Why not the Vatican Bank?

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 08 January, 2013, 14:47

Dear Matt - not many of the visitors to the Vatican museum have Paypal. Dear Ketharaman - Vatican Bank does not have capacity to acquire...  Furthermore it will be interesting to see if card schemes will accept a non-EU bank to service Vatican Museum since the problem is the lack of AML legislation in the city state. If yes, then it could be understood as a x- regional acquiring service in order to circumvent European AML legislation that is more or less the same as the USA one!

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Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto | 08 January, 2013, 15:15

@ Anon

You may be right about Paypal but I'm pretty sure most Vatican visitors are fans of all things Papal.

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