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This file photo shows Apple's App Store app. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Telecom providers in the UAE have implemented a new rule to ensure safe transactions when purchasing from mobile app stores.

In an announcement issued by the UAE Telecommunications Authority (TRA), app purchases will no longer be processed through the customer’s mobile number as of November 1. Alternatively, customers are now required to set a limit in order to prevent surprise charges on their phone bills, also known as “bill shock”.

“As of November 1, 2019, purchases from mobile application stores will not be processed through the mobile number. The purchase will only be activated if the customer sets a limit on the value of purchases from the app stores by communicating with the service provider,” said the TRA.

The telecom authority further clarified that prior to the new rule, customers were able to purchase from app stores by either charging it on their credit card or on their monthly phone bill without any limit.

“We have now imposed a zero purchase ceiling for app purchases and only the owner of the line, not the user, can set a cap within his budget,” it said.

The move is line with the TRA’s efforts to protect consumers in the UAE.

As part of an awareness campaign, the TRA also revealed details of a recent case where a woman lost Dh30,000 in a mobile sim swap.

In a video that re-enacted the case, the TRA explained that a resident had her mobile phone tampered by her housekeeper.

Viewers can see the resident leaving her mobile phone at home. In the next scene, the housekeeper switches sim cards and uses the phone to transfer Dh30,000 to her account.

Luckily, the woman was immediately notified of the transaction through her second mobile phone.