I was quite surprised to hear the story on the news where the little boy raised a huge bill on his father’s credit card while playing downloadable games. What also amazed me was that 28% of children aged between 5 -12 own a smartphone.
Now in my household, my children do not have their own phones but my husband and I have downloaded a few games that they can play and we frequently get asked ‘ Mummy/Daddy can I play on your phone?’ Even my little (almost) 2 year old can handle a touch screen quite well and loves to watch ‘Gangnam Style’ on YouTube.
I love playing Dragonskies when I do find the time (there is something about hatching little dragon eggs!!) and so does my 8 year old daughter. There are also some other apps which she enjoys like Disney Fairies and Moshi Monsters. Most of these games have a free version but if you want the whole hog, you need to upgrade and to do this there is a charge. Many of the apps also come with in-app purchases like buying coins or jewels. There is a way of course to ensure that your children do not go crazy and present you with a huge bill by password locking the download. However, in the event that you are busy and you have a child desperate to play a game and you inadvertently give out your password to stop the tears and the whining, then you may be stepping on a minefield!
There is however a way out and I found the perfect solution in PktMny. I have written a previous post here about PktMny and the benefits of using it. In relation to this particular problem of children overspending, I have found that the PktMny card can be a viable solution because you are able to set limits for it. You can set limits on your child’s spending by setting a weekly limit as well as set a limit on cash advances on the card. This is very easily done from your parent account and these limits can be changed if you know that your child is going to be making a more expensive purchase or can be limited further if you know your child is going out with friends and is likely to overspend.
As a parent you can control how much can be spent and where the card can be used; you can set a spending limit on how much can be spent per week and in a single transaction and chose if your child can use the card on the high street, online or at a ATM. In other words – you have complete control and you can personalise this for each child and these settings are flexible and can be changed at any time.
You also have an overview of exactly where the money is being spent and this is done in an easy visual way for children to understand.
PktMny is the first pre-paid card for Under 16s that provides responsible spending for kids and control for parents. It’s accepted anywhere Visa is accepted, online and off. There is a nominal charge of £1.97 a month.
I think PktMny is a great idea for use with in-app purchases. With many more children receiving Smartphones, iPods, iPads and Kindles for their birthdays and Christmas, we need to ensure responsible spending. For example, if you set a regular limit of about £5 on spending and they go over this limit, the card will just not work. So it is really safe for them. Also, it gives them a sense of responsibility as they are spending from their pocket money and while children love spending their parents money, they are much more thrifty when it comes out of their own pocket.
Here is some data collected by PktMny regarding online spending trends among children:
The findings are based on the data of over 1,000 families using the PktMny website.
We only use anonymised data and we work from a sample of 1,500 children.
The top 5 online merchants: based on 4,000 transactions analysed
- Google Play
- Sony Entertainment Network
- Google Play
- Pay Pal
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by PktMny. But I only recommend services and products that I like using and that will be good for my readers.