Free. Money.

Pay It Forward

If you use Google Pay, you might be in luck. Users of the payment service noticed that for seemingly no discernible reason, they're receiving cash deposits of up to $1,000 in their app accounts. There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but, hey, here's some free money.

The whole fiasco was kickstarted on Tuesday, when confused Google Pay-ers took to social media wondering why they received the influx of cash.

"Uhhh, Google Pay seems to just be randomly giving users free money right now," tweeted Mishaal Rahman, a tech journalist, attaching a screenshot of the errant couple buckets he received.

In a thread, befuddled Redditors also joined in on the fun, comparing the dinero they received or wondering how to cash in on the free goods.

"I just got almost $100 in six different cashback rewards for 'dogfooding the Google pay remittance experience,''" wrote one user. "What does this mean?" they asked.

Rewards? For What?

What it means is that Google Pay screwed up its "reward" program, according to Ars Technica. It's a lot like any other rewards program, where you can earn a discount or the odd dollar or two for regularly using the service.

Except in this case, these cash rewards were meant to be doled out to employees for "dogfooding," which in IT slang, is when devs use their own product (like an app) for a while to test it, usually before it's released.

For one reason or another, these compensatory payments got sent out to a bunch of random Google Pay users. Google, in an email it sent to the surprised recipients days later, blamed it on an "error."

"You received this email because an unintended cash credit was deposited to your Google Pay account," the company wrote, as quoted by Ars. "The issue has since been resolved and where possible, the credit has been reversed."

Presumably, anyone that left the money sitting in their app accounts had the credits reversed. But if you were hasty or eager enough to cash out the credits right away, Google says, "well played" — you earned it, buddy (for some cosmic reason).

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