Indonesia has a large and diverse population, with highly uneven levels of development and a complex decentralized structure. This makes creating a long-term institutional framework and building connectivity infrastructure extremely challenging. The majority of the population is unbanked, and lacks access to fixed telephone lines or the country’s limited banking services. Cashless payment systems such as credit cards are used by less than 10 per cent of the population. The use of ATM and debit cards is still limited, although inter-bank transfers have increased after the introduction of a recent mechanism allowing inter-operability between different banks and mobile network operators. With the rapid growth of mobile uptake, mobile money has the potential to grow but comes with various constraints. This research note argues that in this highly dynamic and fragmented market, analysis and development of cashless payment needs to look beyond masterplan reports, to investigate the more informal, decentralized, mobile-led development and frictions in non-cash payments.