In-App Purchases


Type of Resource


Publication Date

June 20, 2023


Privacy and Safety Settings 

Mobile Phone Providers

Very often games are available to download for free and once a child is actually playing the game on a smartphone or tablet, the game offers ‘in-app’ purchases. These are commonly referred to as ‘Freemium’ games.

These in-app purchases help the child progress to another level or enhance the game. For example, on ‘The Sims’, a player can purchase in-app currency called Simoleons or Life Points to help them progress. Using this in-app currency, they can buy items to help them progress faster in the game; engagement rings, furniture, houses and expansion packs are all valuable items. This means the credit card associated with the particular iTunes or Google Play Store accounts is charged for the purchase.

This could mean the parent/carer could end up paying for digital commodities.

Parents or carers can prevent children from generating large bills by restricting in-app purchases. Their child cannot undo this if a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to lock the restriction has been set.

If a child asks for the password or PIN, always check what they need it for. Once the PIN is shared with the child, the restrictions can be changed by them.

If a child is using an Apple device, please follow these steps:

If a child is using an Android, they cannot make in-app purchases if parents/carers have set parental control age restrictions. Please follow these steps to set age restrictions:

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