VATICAN CITY — It’s ‘‘cash only’’ now for tourists at the Vatican wanting to pay for museum tickets, souvenirs, and other services after Italy’s central bank decided to block electronic payments, including credit cards, at the city-state.
Deutsche Bank Italia, which had provided the Vatican with electronic payment services, said Thursday that the Bank of Italy pulled its authorization after Dec. 31.
The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that the Italian central bank took the action because the Holy See has not yet fully complied with European Union safeguards against money laundering. That means Italian banks are not authorized to operate within the Vatican, which is updating its mechanisms to combat money laundering.
The Vatican says it’s trying to solve the problem for thousands of visitors who flock to the Vatican Museums, which includes the Sistine Chapel. The Holy See had no immediate comment on the Bank of Italy’s reported reasons.
Tourists in the long lines that snaked around Vatican City walls on Thursday were not happy about the inconvenience.