Forum: Minor used digital wallet to spend $20,000 on video game without parent's knowledge

I linked my credit card to my daughter's ride-hailing account with an auto top-up. She then linked the card to her digital wallet.

Using her digital wallet, my daughter, who is a minor, made 89 transactions totalling $19,810 over a six-week period at a website that provides a credit top-up service for a video game.

The game is what is known as a "gacha" game, in which players pay for a chance to win something. These games have been criticised for closely resembling gambling.

I filed disputes with my credit card company and the digital wallet provider on the grounds that a minor should not have been allowed to spend that much on a game.

When I requested a copy of my daughter's digital wallet statement, I was told that even though I am her parent, I would need to request that statement through her.

I followed the trail to the website that provided the game credit top-up service, and was told through its customer service that the transactions were approved.

I escalated the issue to the company's board, and was told by the company's legal and customer service teams that the transactions were legally valid and anything else was not their problem.

How can Singapore prevent minors from accessing such games easily?

Can games and payment portals take responsibility for screening players and instituting a cap on spending for minors?

As things stand, due to the ease of digital payments, there is a danger of minors becoming hooked on games and spending large sums that go through multiple payment portals while their parents remain unaware.

On the website that provides the game credit top-up services, even PayNow - meant to make digital payment easy for the masses - can be used.

Regulations need to be put in place to prevent minors and their parents from being exploited.

These digital platforms are not even required to issue a monthly statement showing what transactions were made and which merchants were involved.

I have since set my credit card issuer to send alerts for every single transaction, even those that involve $1, as most banks set the default at $500 before an alert is triggered to prevent fraudulent transactions.

Lim Cheng Mong

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