How to disable Android in-app purchases: remove credit card, use PIN

Posted on Jan 24 2013 - 9:22am by Harold Hisona

android-in-app-purchaseOne of our readers sent us an email yesterday asking if there’s a way to minimize in-app purchases. That’s what we are going to answer in this post. Before anything else, however, I would like to give talk about why developers prefer to get paid via in-app purchases and not one-time payment.

Different Types of Android Apps

Developers are the backbone of the Android community, without them we cannot enjoy the operating system to the full extent. Now, there are three different types of Android apps available in the Google Play Store:

  1. Free Apps – these are the types that any user can download and install without having to pay a penny.
  2. Paid-for Apps – these are the apps that require users to pay a certain amount before they are allowed to download and install.
  3. Freemium Apps – these are the ones you can download and install for free but requires you to pay a certain amount to unlock some levels, buy gems, repair something, etc. More often, game apps are the ones that offer in-app purchases.

Majority of developers build apps for a living and most of the times, individual developers (not the ones working for a big companies) offer in-app purchases because they can earn higher than offering their apps for a one-time payment at a fixed amount. Besides, people often don’t want to spend some dollars for some mobile apps. That’s what made free and freemium apps more attractive. And yes, little children are often the victims, although parents (or grandparents) are the ones who’ll pay.

How to Stop In-App Purchases

Fortunately, there are two ways to minimize or stop in-app purchases. First, remove your credit card to stop the Google Play Store from charging you over small virtual items purchased by your children. Second, enable the use of PIN (Personal Identification Number) for every purchase done on the Play Store. Here’s how…

Remove/Delete Credit Card from Google Play 

Step 1: Using the same email address you use to login to the Play Store, login to your Google Wallet account: here’s the link https://wallet.google.com/manage

Step 2: Google Wallet will show you all of transactions under your account. Look for “Payment Methods” on the left pane and click on it. You will find credit/debit cards you’ve added under your account.

Step 3: If there are multiple cards under your account, look for the one you want removed or deleted. Once you found it, try to look for a link that says “Delete” and click on it.

Step 4: If Google Wallet asks you if you’re sure you want to remove the card, click the button “Yes, remove it.”

After this, Google Play Store will prompt you or your children to enter a credit card every time a purchase is done via the app store. Of course, you can always say No to your children.

Enable Use PIN for Purchases

Step 1: Using your Android smartphone or tablet, launch the Play Store app from the home screen.

Step 2: Tap on “Menu” then choose “Settings.”

Step 3: Scroll down a bit and find “User Controls” section. Under that you can find “Set or Change PIN” option. Tap on it.

Step 4: Now enter your desired PIN and tap “OK.”

Step 5: Re-enter your PIN for verification.

Step 6: You will be brought back to the “Settings” menu. Look for “Use PIN for purchases” option and check the little box to right.

Now, every time a purchase is done, you or your children will be asked to enter the PIN. Of course, you don’t want your children to know what your PIN is, otherwise, there’s no use in setting up this option.

If you have some technical concerns, feel free to send us an email at [email protected]

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About the Author

Harold works as an Android support technician. He remains an active contributor to The Droid Guy providing free support to its readers by addressing their problems and questions. He recently launch his small blog, Droidista.com, which serves as an online journal for his works.