The Play Store is home to the largest ecosystem of apps for Android smartphones. It features apps that are free to use, paid apps, and apps that feature in-app purchases.
For those of you who may not know, In-App purchases are microtransactions that you have to make within an app in order to unlock certain features or functionalities. For example, you can buy extra lives in games or unlock all editing features on a photo editor. Now, while some of these In-App purchases look innocently cheap, these small transactions soon cascade into large sums that frankly, are not even entirely justified at times.
The Play Store does not allow you to completely disable In-App purchases as of yet, but, instead, it does allow you to set up an extra level of authentication that prevents you from accidentally committing to a transaction. This feature also prevents kids at home from accidentally triggering a transaction.
Here’s how you can set up this authentication.
Step 1. Open the ‘Play Store‘ app on your Android smartphone.
Step 2. Tap on the ‘three-line‘ button on the top left-hand side.
Step 3. Scroll down the menu and tap on the ‘Settings‘ option.
Step 4. Now, under the user controls tab, tap on the ‘Biometric Authentication‘
You will have to enter the password to your relevant Google Account. Once you enter it, you will see that the option is enabled. Now, every time you try to initiate an In-App purchase, you will be prompted to scan your biometric (Face Unlock, Fingerprint, etc). This does two things –
- It prevents other people from initiating a purchase.
- It gives you one more chance to contemplate the purchase before making it.
Make sure you enable this authentication feature on your Play Store and stay away from unnecessary In-App purchases and microtransactions.