What is in-app purchase, how is it used? We have gathered all the information on in-app purchases, opening and closing, security measures against children.
Many of the mobile gaming and application developers prefer the pricing model called preemium . In this model, the game and the application are basically downloaded and used free of charge. However, in order to achieve some elements and features within the game or application, it is necessary to make ‘in-app purchases’. For example, for a character in the game, additional packages are offered with this method to pass out clothes, weapons, special abilities and various stages. In addition, applications we use in daily life often have in-app purchase options for features such as monthly subscription plans and ad removal. So what is this in-app purchase or app purchase in English by name?
What is in-app purchases?
In-app purchases are the general name of the method that allows you to purchase additional packages, content, and subscriptions that are included in the applications. With this method, you can purchase options such as additional packages, subscriptions, upgrade to PRO version for money, or buy movies, music and short videos in digital markets like Google Play, App Store and iTunes.
In-app purchase types
There are three types of in-app purchases. In other words, purchasing may be one of these three types:
1. Subscriptions: The type in which you purchase the content in the app for a certain subscription period. Subscriptions are renewed at regular intervals unless you cancel them, and payment is made by the payment method you specify. Sample purchases may include:
- Film and music services (Netflix, BeinSports, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.),
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions,
- Completely paid games (such as the Minecraft and GTA series).
2. Continuous elements: This type is also called permanent items. This type of payment is made only once and the item or package purchased is constantly defined in your account. You can use this purchase as long as the game or application you are purchasing is running. For example, we can show:
- Remove ads from a game or app,
- Unlock all sections,
- New game characters or accessories,
- City guides,
- Upgrade to Pro or Premium.
3. Temporary items (non-permanent items): Such in-app purchases are once and are used for items that are not available after a certain use. It may seem a little complicated when we read it, and it will be clearer if we examine the examples:
- Additional game life,
- Section tips,
- Play money available in the game (jewelry, gold, etc.),
- File format conversion packages.
In-app purchase payment methods
In-app purchase payment transactions are usually made to the device with a defined credit or debit card. This payment method, which we explained in detail in mobile payment methods , corresponds to mobile wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. Since these payment methods are integrated in your device, you don’t need to enter card information in every purchase, you can simply complete the purchase process by selecting the card you will pay.
In addition to mobile wallets, some games and applications also offer GSM (operator) payment support. These are usually domestic games and applications. Both the Android and the developer’s agreement with the purchase transactions to be made to be added to your GSM bill.
In-app purchases on and off
If the in-app purchase is a feature you don’t use, you can close it and reopen it at any time. There are different methods for Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad). You can turn on or off in-app purchases by following these steps according to your operating system.
On Android phone and tablets:
From the beginning, there is only one way to completely turn off this feature for Android devices: not to ever save your card information to Google Pay and Google Play. Other than that, you can limit it, or you can set a password requirement for in-app purchases. In this way, you will avoid unconscious or accidental purchase.
- Navigate to the settings menu of Google Play on your Android device (from the top three lines),
- On the page that appears, under User Controls, tap “Request authentication for purchases.”
- Here, you will see three options and choose from the options “For all purchases from Google Play on this device” option.
As a result of this transaction, you have to enter the password of the Google account you use to purchase a paid game or application and make an in-app purchase. In other words, no purchase can be made from your device via Google Play, unless your account has been entered.
For iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices:
iOS allows you to close the purchase process completely. However, you need to do different operations according to the operating versions.
- If your device has iOS 12 and later:
Enter Display Time in the Settings menu,
Open the “Settings> Display Duration> Content and Privacy Restrictions> Purchases in the iTunes and App Store” menu. On the resulting page, change the “In-App Purchase” option to “don’t allow.”
- For iOS 11 and earlier versions:
Again from the settings under the General menu, tap Restrictions and turn on the “Enable Restrictions” feature,
The incoming page will prompt you to set a password. It will be useful to set a password that you will never forget, in all applications and operations that this password restriction is active. After the password setting, you will see the “In-App Purchase” option active at the bottom. You can deactivate it completely by making it passive.
Is it possible to prevent children from making in-app purchases?
To answer this question, we need to determine who used the phone or tablet first. The device belongs to you? Or your child? If you want to use the password protection mentioned above you can limit the in-app purchase method. In this way, your child can not make a purchase unless the password of your account is entered. However, if the device belongs to your child , it will be the definitive solution to not identify a bank or credit card in any way.
To check if your child has a bank or credit card defined on the phone or tablet that you are using, follow these steps:
- On Android: From the Google Play menu, enter the “Payment Methods” page. It will appear whether there is a card registered to the account. If you have a defined card, tap ‘More payment settings’ at the bottom of the page. The page will automatically redirect you to the Google Pay page with your card details. You can remove the card from the opened new page.
- On iOS (iPhone or iPad): On the Settings page, tap your current name and Show Apple ID. Then touch the Payment Information menu. If this page appears blank, no card is defined for the device. If you see a card, just save it by selecting the ‘none’ option at the bottom.
If you complete these steps, your child will no longer be able to use the in-app purchase method.