Erm just to point out my little brother is 13 and has a debit card by HSBC bank and so did I when I was his age. He uses that to put on his AppleID and PSN not my mum. He then just hand in his money to the bank each week and buys what he wants!
Visa Electron cards are available for under 16's - or at least were when I was 15
Lets replace computer game with almost any other product. You go into a clothes shop with your kid and buy them some shoes on your card (equivalent of setting up the xbox with live gold by card). You walk out the shop taking your card with you. The next day your kid walks in, grabs himself that designer jacket, takes it to the till and the attendant says "Should we just stick that on the same card as what was used to buy your shoes?" Without any authorisation from the card holder payment is taken.
When the bill came through for your card would you challenge it or would you accept it? What if he had bought up half the store without anyone questioning it, would you challenge it then? I suspect you would.
Ultimately the sensible solution would be for any account holders under 18 to only be able to use pre-paid cards, maybe 16 if you go for the youth debit card schemes. Publishers won't do it as they're actively preying on young \ naive gamers to increase their profit margins and they're raking in the £££ right now.
It is a bit disturbing that these kids are only a few short years from being able to go out and work, get a mortgage, their own credit card, etc., and seem to have no idea of the value of money. Surely every purchase must have a price tag attached?
On the xbox it tells you a price in either MS Points or in Physical money (until the MS Points finally get taken out of circulation which I believe is the end of this month) so he could well have spent loads on MS points and not realised just how much he was spending (10 lots of 8000 points would be around £720)
Poor kid :(
It can eat away at some kids, and unfortunately they dont realise how bad things can get.