Paying for Games, Apps & Downloads

These days, it is easy to use a smartphone or tablet to download a product or service and charge it to your phone bill. Children are especially attracted to games, apps and media such as video and songs, and are able to download these on their mobile devices with just a few clicks.

The risks

  • A child may not be aware of potential costs if only accessing ‘free’ content.
  • Some free games ask for credit to be spent in order to continue to the next level, and while the amount you pay each time might be low, it can add up and be a shock for the bill payer at the end of the month.
  • Your child may download a video or ringtone without realising that this has triggered a subscription to a service that will start charging the phone regularly.

Safeguarding costs

  • Always be sure of your child’s activity on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Do not let your child have use of your mobile device if you want to avoid any unexpected surprises
  • Always guard your mobile device with a PIN, which you should keep to yourself.
  • Do not reveal the login details you use for App Store, Google Play or other sources of apps.
  • Always check your phone bills for numbers or payments you do not recognise.

Jargon Buster

A Glossary of terms used in this article:


Personal Identification Number.