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Google Pay users are discovering Google accidentally gave them free money

If you received a payment, Google says you get to keep it.
By

Published onApril 7, 2023

Google Pay stock photos 4
TL;DR
  • A Google Pay bug has accidentally sent payments from the company to random accounts.
  • The payments have ranged from a few dollars to over $1,000.
  • Google has fixed the problem and says “the money is yours to keep.”

If you’re someone who has a Google Pay account, you might want to check out your balance right now. Google may have accidentally given you some free money.

Google Pay users were surprised by something strange earlier this week. It appeared that they had received payments from an unlikely source — Google. One of those lucky users happened to be freelance journalist Mishaal Rahman who shared that he received $46 in rewards. According to Rahman, the payment came with a message stating it was for “dogfooding the Google Pay Remittance experience.”

The term dogfooding refers to a process where employees beta test pre-release software given to them by their company. In return, the company gives them money for participating in the test. As a result, this money should’ve only gone to Google employees.

Rahman was far from the only person to receive a payment. Reddit threads on both the Google Pay and Google Pixel subreddits were full of users who claimed to have received money that ranged from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. One user even claims that they received a deposit of over $1,000.

It appears that there may have been a bug in the app or some kind of mix-up that resulted in the unexpected payments. On April 6, Rahman shared this official message sent from Google.

You received this email because an unintended cash credit was deposited to your Google Pay account. The issue has since been resolved and where possible the credit has been reversed. If we were able to reverse the credit, it has already been reflected in your account activity. If we were not able to reverse the credit, the money is yours to keep. No further action is necessary. We apologize for any inconvenience.

What this means is if you spent or transferred the money before Google could take it back, then you get to keep the money. Google is not going to charge your account to get its money back.

Were you one of the lucky users to get a payment? Let us know in the comments below.