The Italian central bank has suspended all bank card payments in the Vatican, citing its failure to implement fully anti-money laundering legislation, Italian media report.
The Holy See was required to meet European Union safeguards on finances by the start of 2013.
Its failure means tourists will have to pay cash at its museums and shops.
A Vatican spokesman said contacts were under way and the suspension of bank card payments should be "short-lived".
Pope Benedict has promised greater transparency in Vatican finances and the operations of its bank, the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), which has in the past been implicated in major money-laundering scandals.
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