On January 1, 2013, two months before Pope Benedict XVI's almost unprecedented resignation, the government of Italy barred Italian banks from business transactions with the Vatican and cut its bank off from doing business with other banks throughout the European Union.
Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee, which evaluated the Vatican’s anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing measures, said last year that the Vatican bank, or the Institute for Works of Religion, ha...d made progress in reforming its anti-money laundering legislation but a lot of work had to be done regarding financial transparency and oversight. Having failed to do that, the Deutsche Bank Italia, which handles all bank card payments on Vatican territory, was ordered to deactivate its terminals. ATM machines have also been shut down, except for those with a Vatican Bank debit card, after the Italian central bank refused authorization for Deutsche Bank’s Italian unit to continue providing services within the Vatican’s walls.
As a result, museums, post office and businesses there have been declining credit & debit card purchases, complicating life for tourists. The resort to cash-only business reportedly cost the Vatican roughly $40,000 a day.
After a six-week moratorium, the Vatican has found a way around the problem, by using a non-EU financial institution credit card and debit card processor. The Swiss Aduno group agreed to process bank-card transactions at Vatican locations.
According to the Vatican City state’s annual financial report, five million tourists visited the Vatican museum last year spending more than 90 million euros on tickets and souvenirs.