28 per cent of parents unaware their children had spent their money without permission

Children spending £30m a month on unauthorised IAPs

Children are spending £30 million a month on in-app purchases without authorisation from their parents, a new study claims.

The Guardian has had an early glimpse at a Microsoft survey of 2,000 parents in Britain who own smartphones or tablets, in which 28 per cent of parents claimed their children had paid for an app or IAP without their permission.

Of those who had experienced noticing unauthorised IAPs, 83 per cent said they only noticed the transactions on their monthly bill statement, after the fact.

83 per cent of those who claimed their children had purchased in-game items without permission also claimed that it had added an average of £34.18 to their monthly bill.

This has led Microsoft to claim that in total, monthly spend on unauthorised apps and in-app purchases is just under £30.9 million.

On whether parents needed more guidance from platform holders, 77 per cent of parents said they needed more help.

The survey comes on the back of the Office of Fair Trading’s investigation into in-app purchases, after it expressed concern that some games may be using unfair practices in encouraging children to spend cash, following reports of youngsters spending excessive sums of money on IAPs.

As part of the government investigation, the OFT has set up a questionnaire which asks parents questions about how children use apps.

You can see the full questionnaire here.

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