Warnings over smartphone apps' hidden charges

Public consultation into app payments launched by regulator

Two smartphone apps have been found to be charging users without their knowledge.

The apps were discovered and shut down by Phonepayplus, a premium rate regulator. One of the apps automatically sent text messages worth £4.50 each, without the consent of the user.

Phonepayplus today launched a ten-week public consultation on their proposed guidelines on app-based payments. The guidelines will aim to make consent clearer, password requirements stronger, and to provide more explanation on virtual credit.

Phonepayplus Chief Executive, Paul Whiteing, said that they will not hesitate to use their sanctioning powers on rogue providers.

"We know that the best regulation is one that works collaboratively with industry to pre-empt problems that harm consumers and damage markets", Whiteing said.