Most local accommodation owners must be paid in cash.
Some homestay owners provide the ability to be paid by bank transfer before you arrive, and a few of the busiest homestays now accept credit/debit cards. You’ll find “Can pay by credit card” in the features checklist on a homestay’s page if it can accept credit cards. (Apply the accommodation page Other features search filter of that name to quickly find homestays that can accept card payments.) A surcharge is levied by homestays to cover the bank fees charged for card use.
Note that there’s no guarantee that your particular bank’s Visa or Mastercard will be accepted. Confirm with your card provider that you will be able to use it in Indonesian ATMs. Most homestay card facilities are supplied by Indonesia’s Mandiri Bank, so it might also be a good idea to test that your card will work in a Mandiri ATM before arriving in Sorong.
There’s no access to cash out in the islands.
The only ATMs in Raja Ampat are in Waisai. If staying at a place without a credit card facility, you’ll need to bring a lot of cash. The largest denomination Indonesian bill is 100,000 Rupiah, so be ready to carry a sizeable wad of notes. To avoid problems and delays on arrival, the best approach is to work out how much cash you’ll need for your stay (including a margin for the unexpected) and get it all in Indonesian Rupiah before you land in Sorong.
Money, Banks and ATMs in Sorong
ATMs: Be aware that there’s no guarantee your card will work in all Indonesian bank ATMs. To avoid nasty surprises it’s recommended you test your card in a few different banks’ machines prior to arriving in Sorong. Also be aware of your daily withdrawal limit.
There are many different Indonesian bank ATMs in Sorong, but the most convenient are the ones at the airport. They have fairly low maximum dispensing limits, but you can withdraw multiple times up to your own bank’s daily withdrawal limit.
Exchanging Currency: It’s probably best to do this at a bank in Sorong. If you want to exchange US currency, be aware that most banks will only accept recently issued $100 notes. We don’t know what the requirements are for Euros or other currencies. Probably similar. Banks are not open on weekends and Indonesian Public Holidays.
Money, Banks and ATMs in Waisai
Options are much more limited in Waisai, but more ATMs are being installed every year. BCA, Mandiri, and BNI ones are usually the best to try first. Any taxi or ojek driver will be able to help you find those.