Lawyer Lionel Tan, who specializes in technology, media and telecommunications, said there was a chance to void a transaction if a minor played an adult game, or if there were any statements confused in the application that misled a user into paying.

Mr. Lim’s daughter has just reached the minimum age of 18 which allows her to enter into contracts on her own, said Mr. Tan of Rajah and Tann Singapore. He added that it is difficult to say that she was not aware that she had made the purchases online.

He added that such incidents could be on the rise as more services go digital. Some cases in which minors under the age of 18 are involved have been resolved amicably because the child may not have understood the nature of the purchase, he said.

“The online site may also wish to avoid the negative publicity or regulatory scrutiny that may be attracted to it,” said Tan, who advised parents to be aware of their children’s Internet and gaming activities.

Mr. Lim has since recovered around $ 10,000 from his credit card issuing bank, which he says was done out of goodwill. He reminded his 21-year-old son – also an avid gamer – of the risks of spending online and said he would not help his son pay for online gaming services.

Mr Lim hopes businesses and authorities will reconsider the application of online transactions, especially where children are involved.

He said: “As parents we have no control. It is a disaster waiting to happen and I want to make sure that more parents are aware of it.”

How to set alerts for transactions

Here are some precautions you can take to prevent unwanted transactions in major payment applications:

To grab

To set alerts for any transaction, open the Grab app and click Account, then tap Settings.

Under the GrabPay drop-down list, click Communications, then select the option to be notified of cashless transactions by email under Transaction Report.


To enable notifications, tap the bell icon at the top right of the OCBC app login screen, where you will see a list of bank notifications.

Next, tap the Settings icon in the upper left corner and toggle the switch to receive alerts.

Standard chartered bank

Set alerts by logging into the mobile app and selecting Settings from the drop-down menu.

Tap Inbox notifications and turn on notifications for bank alerts.

Apple App Store

Parents can control which apps their kids buy on their mobile devices with Ask to Buy, a feature of the Family Sharing feature.

Once activated, parents will receive a notification requesting their approval when the child downloads an app.

To activate Ask to Buy, open the Settings app on your mobile device and tap your name. Go to Family Sharing and tap Request to Buy.

Then tap your family member’s name and turn Ask to Buy on or off.