Hundreds of Google Pay users on Tuesday reported receiving free money in their accounts. Many users reported receiving from a few dollars to as much as $1,000 in phantom cash. Android researcher Mishaal Rahman reported on Twitter that he got $46 in his Google Pay account.
“Uhhh, Google Pay seems to just be randomly giving users free money right now,” Rahman tweeted. “I just opened Google Pay and saw that I have $46 in ‘rewards’ that I got ‘for dogfooding the Google Pay Remittance experience.’ What.”
He attached a screenshot of his booty and several other users on Twitter and Reddit confirmed their own experiences with the free money. “I just got almost $100 in six different cashback rewards for ‘dogfooding the Google Pay remittance experience,’” one user wrote.
The message that came with all the free money is that the payment is for “dogfooding the Google Pay remittance experience.” Tech experts and software developers explained that the term is used when employees test a new product to determine how it will serve when final consumers interact with it.
This means that Google Pay did not intend to send free money to anyone. The payment was being tested internally among Google Pay developers but due to a system error, the system blasted out the money to public users who were not expecting it. Funny enough, some recipients said they even got different payment notifications several times.
By Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, almost all users who got free Google Pay money received an email from Google that the incident was an “error.” Google said the money had been reversed from the accounts of recipients – but for those who were quick enough to have moved the money elsewhere or used it in some way – Google said “well played” and good luck to them.
“You received this email because an unintended cash credit was deposited to your Google Pay account,” Google wrote. “The issue has since been resolved and where possible, the credit has been reversed.”