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Italian banks suspend Vatican credit-card processing

CWN - January 03, 2013

The Vatican was thrown into cash-only economic system on January 2, when the Bank of Italy refused to process electronic payments through the Vatican’s terminals.

The Bank of Italy blocked Vatican payments after December 31, explaining that the move was necessary because the Vatican has not yet fully complied with European regulations against money-laundering. The unexpected move left Vatican officials scrambling to address the problem, and tourists drawing cash from bank terminals elsewhere in Rome to pay for entry to the Vatican Museums.

Vatican officials have announced a series of steps in the past year to bring the Holy See into line with European banking standards. But Italian regulators remain unsatisfied, and have announced that Italian banks cannot do business at the Vatican until the regulations are fully implemented.

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