How to use purchase requests in the Google Play Store

How to use purchase requests in the Google Play Store

Purchase approval settings give you control over what content your little ones can buy and download in the Google Play Store. You can request permission for all apps or in-app purchases (IAP) only. Typically, enter your password on their device to allow paid apps or tap the approve option for free downloads. But these methods only work when you set up a payment method that everyone in your family group shares. If you don’t want to expose your card to more people, Google still allows you to cover your children’s expenses.

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The Purchase Requests feature was launched in December 2022 and is a more convenient way to monitor what children buy online without a shared payment method. You can now use payment methods stored on your individual Google Account, and the feature works on your child’s Chromebook or Android device. If you want to set up this parental control feature, here’s how.



How Google purchase requests work

Purchase requests is a feature associated with your Google family group. When you don’t have a payment method set up for group sharing, it allows kids to send you a real-time message asking permission to buy apps and IAPs only. They can’t make requests for Play Books, subscription purchases, or Google TV. If you’ve already set up a payment method, children won’t see the option to make a request. They will just see the normal screen asking to enter the password on their device.

With Requests, you get the message along with options for Allow OR To deny. If you accept, you can pay with your credit, debit or Google Play gift cards stored in your account. Google automatically processes the transaction, initiates the download, and sends both parties confirmation emails. The details appear in the Order History menu of the Play Store, where every family member can see them. You don’t have to approve requests right away and can review them later.

Only children under 18 can appeal to the Family Manager to approve applications with their personal cards. Adults don’t need permission to make purchases unless you change their approval settings to limit IAPs. You can also change the approval settings for children. However, according to Google, “Purchase approvals can only be used to restrict purchases made with the family payment method through the Google Play billing system.”

Purchase requests don’t cover existing content shared in your Family Library. If your child has purchased something before, setting restrictions only affects future purchases and doesn’t revoke their current access. If you don’t want them to use an app, block it in Family Link.

How to approve or reject purchase requests

The Family Link and Google Play Store apps provide options for managing purchase requests. Since both apps only work on supported Android devices, you can’t use them if you’re signed in to your account on an iOS smartphone or other third-party device.

To make a request, your child must attempt to purchase an app from the store or make an in-app purchase. They see a popup message from the Play Store telling them to ask the parent to get the item for them. Once you submit your request, you will receive a notification. You can see what content your child wants to pay for and asks to approve or deny it. If you miss the notification, you can still view it in the Play Store or Family Link at any time. Use the following steps to begin the process.

Manage purchase requests on the Google Play Store

  1. Open Google Play Store.
  2. Touch yours profile icon in the upper right corner.
  3. To select Settings from the menu.
  4. Faucet Family to expand a drop-down list.
  5. Faucet Manage approval requests to see which purchases require your authorization.

  1. Open the FamilyLink application.
  2. Click the bell icon in the upper right corner. You will see purchase requisitions requiring approval there.

Parenthood doesn’t have to be expensive

You can only have so much visibility into what your kids are up to online. It doesn’t help that the world of the internet is advancing rapidly. With just a few taps, kids can quickly buy something or download content they have no business with. If your child somehow accessed paid content or you changed your mind about granting approval, there may be time to get a refund from the Google Play Store.

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