It’s cash only at the Vatican

(LA Times) In God we trust. All others pay cash.

That may be the new motto at the Vatican since the Bank of Italy pulled its authorization to accept credit cards and other electronic payments from visitors as of Dec. 31.

The Italian central bank denied a permit to Deutsche Bank in Italy to continue handling electronic transactions for the Vatican because the Holy See has not yet fully complied with the European Union’s stringent safeguards against money laundering, according to bank officials and Italian news reports.

The Vatican is scrambling to fix the problem, which has forced throngs of visitors to pay with cash when paying for tickets for the Vatican museum and buying souveniers, according to reports.

In 2011, the number of visitors to the Vatican museum topped 5 million. Ticket prices range from $5 to $21.

Deutsche Bank in Italy declined to comment on the matter Thursday.

The Vatican had yet to issue a statement on the matter through its press service Thursday.


LA Times