Google Pay Just Accidentally Deposited Money Into User Accounts — Why It May Be ‘Yours To Keep’

Mountain View, California, USA - May 26, 2022: The new building at Google Bay View campus in Mountain View, California.
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Typically, bank errors are not something you want to see in your account, whether accidental overdraft fees or longer processing times for deposits. But, if you happen to use Google Pay, you might have noticed a very welcome mistake recently. Google just accidentally added free money to user accounts — and in some cases, they are letting beneficiaries keep the funds.

According to Ars Technica, the deposits ranged from $10 to $1,000 and came via Google Pay’s rewards mechanism — one that regularly offers payouts after completing promotional opportunities, though the payouts are usually small and under $10.

Anyone who benefited from the error would have received a message reading, “dogfooding the Google Pay Remittance experience,” per Ars Technica, which is basically insider speak for a test program that was probably only supposed to be transmitted internally at Google.

Upon realizing the mistake, Google did send out a notification to those affected — but the great part is, the tech giant is allowing some to keep the funds. The Google message read, in part: “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.”

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There have been no reports, as yet, regarding how much money Google might have accidentally deposited — or how many people were affected.

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As GOBankingRates has reported, Google was worth over $253 billion as of September 2022, so their valuation undoubtedly remains high despite the error. Even so, said mistake has received a good amount of press and might have encouraged more people to sign up for Google Pay… in case such an error happens again.

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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