In-app charges: How to keep your child’s down-time from costing you a fortune

By Ellyn Peratikou

This year Nintendo celebrates its 125th birthday. Starting as a Japanese company making traditional playing cards, Nintendo has been a key player in the development of the gaming world we know today. The first game console, once cutting edge technology, would probably look more like an antique to our children. So, it’s fair to say – the gaming world has changed a lot over the years.

In game charges can be a big concern for a lot of parents whose children play apps and games online. However, as long as parents understand how in-game charges work, and the restrictions available then there’s no reason that they should be any different to other video games.

Horror stories of children racking up substantial bills have been well documented recently. Innocent enough looking games sometimes have charges for advancing to a new level, or unlocking extra features.

To make sure that your offspring aren’t costing you a small fortune in their quest to defeat Bowser (or whoever the ultimate baddy is today), ensure In-app purchases are restricted. For instructions on how to do this for iPods, iPhones and iPads click here. For Android device users, these restrictions can be applied within Google Play. For instructions on how to do this click here.

When we started to design the goHenry service one of the things we wanted to do was find a solution that would help parents and their children manage their spending online in a safe and controlled way. That’s why we built Parental Controls into our card and app, so parents could easily set spending limits for all transactions (online and offline) and children could gain independence and responsibility for their spending in a safe and controlled way. Plus, it turns out this feature is particularly useful for in-app purchases. The best lesson that in-app payments can teach to children is getting them to understand that just because they didn’t see any coins or notes, it still costs money for them to buy online. Providing a weekly limit and getting children to pay for these in-game purchases out of their own pocket money is the best way for them to learn to think twice when they’re gaming.

About the Author

Louise Hill is the COO, and Co-founder of goHenry. She’s passionate about helping her teenage children develop good money habits for life. So passionate she helped start a company that focuses on helping children learn about money.

About goHenry

goHenry is a family banking tool that teaches young people to budget, earn, save and spend responsibly. It combines web and mobile apps with a Pre-paid debit card with parental controls. We believe that experience in a safe environment is the best way to learn, and that learning about money early should be fun and should set children up for life.

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