Italy has blocked the use of debit and credit cards in the Vatican because of concerns over lack of transparency, in a major obstacle to one of the tiny city state’s biggest sources of income, financial sources said on Thursday.
A source close to the Bank of Italy said the central bank in December denied a permit for Deutsche Bank Italy, the Vatican’s previous provider of electronic payment services, because the Holy See was seen as lacking anti-money laundering controls and oversight.
“The Bank of Italy could not give the authorisation because the Vatican, apart from not respecting money laundering regulation, did not have the legal prerequisites. That is, it lacked banking and financial legislation and proper supervision,” the source said.
Deutsche Bank’s Italian operation needs approval from the Bank of Italy to provide the credit card service under Italian banking regulations.