When playing any type of game on your mobile, be it a shoot ’em up like Fortnite or a few rounds of online bingo, you will have to contend with microtransactions.
A microtransaction is essentially an umbrella term that describes the use of small, instant, in-game purchases that users can access to gain certain features or assets.
In Fortnite or League of Legends, one might make use of microtransactions to purchase character skins. In online bingo, one might use microtransactions to bet on a bingo line or even to wager on online slots.
Meanwhile, online games such as Overwatch and Hearthstone allow users to purchase “loot boxes”, which are completely random digital packages that you can only know the contents of once you pay for them.
All told the microtransaction economy is worth a staggering $34.59 billion and is only expected to grow larger in the years to come. But are these instant digital transactions safe?
Dangers of Microtransactions
Obviously, the main danger of microtransactions is the possibility of spending large amounts of real money in a very short space of time. Many online games and apps tend to make purchases as simple as possible, in order to provide a smooth UX.
Of course, a pitfall of this is that it is almost too easy to spend money on your mobile, especially when all you need to do is check or box or scan your fingerprint to confirm the transaction. More importantly, bad faith actors represent a threat to financial safety.
There is no shortage of dodgy apps and games that are designed to solicit easy money from users in exchange for very little. That’s why it is important to know how to stay safe when conducting microtransactions online.
Ways to Stay Safe
Use trusted payment gateways
This is one of the most effective things you can do to stay safe with your mobile microtransactions. When a platform or game uses well-known, secure payment platforms, your money, and your financial details are safe.
Let’s say you are playing bingo online and want to use your mobile to purchase a digital bingo card. By consulting the homepage of a major, well-known bingo platform such as Buzz Bingo, you will see that it only accepts payments via top gateways such as Apple Pay, PayPal, and Visa.
As mentioned, one of the core dangers of microtransactions is how easy it can be to spend money accidentally. That’s why you should stick to mobile platforms that offer some kind of multi-factor and dual-stage authentication.
Even something as simple as a pop-up asking if you are sure you want to proceed with the transaction can go a long way towards keeping your finances safe and sound. Extra authentication such as password entry can also be an effective way of keeping secure.
By keeping these facts in mind, you can ensure safe and secure microtransactions when playing on your mobile, allowing you to get the most out of your game.