And of those allowed, the average single purchase is £2.07

Only 2% of kids make in-app purchases without parental consent

Just two per cent of children make real money purchases within tablet and smartphone apps without the permission of their parents.

New statistics from youth research agency and developer Dubit also show that the average single in-app purchase is £2.07 for kids which are allowed to make them.

Just 17 per cent of children aged six to 12 are allowed by their parents to make in-app purchases, while 41 per cent of kids who are allowed know their parent’s app store account details.

Not one of the 500 children surveyed have spent more than £10 on a single purchase, though half of those allowed to make in-app purchases have at most spent between £1 and £5 in a single transaction. 

In-app purchases have generated headlines in recent years over kids who racked up enormous bills by purchasing in-app extras, for example ‘smurfberries’ in the My Smurfs Village game. This sparked an Office of Fair Trading investigation and warning to app developers.

Over half (54 per cent) of children who make in-app purchases say one of their favourite thing to buy in-game is new levels, like in Candy Crush Saga. 45 per cent like to purchase cosmetic items, while 25 per cent choose to pay to speed-up in-game actions. 

Ian Douthwaite, CEO of Dubit, said: “It’s evident from our research that parents have greater control over their child’s in-game spending than reports would have us believe, and when children do spend, it is in moderation.

“Gaming has changed a lot over the past few years with price points dropping, and with children having greater access and choice. Rather than IAP being the villain, it appears that it provides a valuable revenue stream for games publishers without exploiting a child’s or a parent’s vulnerability.”

Image source: Mother and girl holding e-book reader (Shutterstock)

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