Some Google Pay users were in for a pleasant surprise when they found out that the app had deposited unexpected cash rewards into their accounts. TechSpot reports the rewards ranged from $10 to $1,000 and were accompanied by a message about “dogfooding the Google Pay Remittance experience.”
The term “dogfooding” refers to the practice of testing pre-release software internally by developers or testers. This suggests that the rewards were meant to be sent to Google employees or partners who were involved in testing a new feature of Google Pay, but instead they were sent to regular users by mistake.
Google later acknowledged the error and sent another message to the affected users, informing them that the issue had been resolved and that the credit had been reversed where possible.
Some users were quick enough to transfer the money out of Google Pay or to spend it. For those who had already spent or transferred the money, Google said they could keep it and no further action was necessary. Result!
This generous gesture by Google may have been motivated by legal or PR considerations, as well as goodwill towards its users. It is not clear how many users received the accidental rewards or how much money Google lost due to the bug.
Even so, it would have been a minefield of legal rights to try and get money back from users who already spent or transferred it. Not to mention it would have been a terrible look for Google considering it was the company's own mistake that caused it.
Microsoft and Twitter Want to Join the Payments Market
Google Pay is a contactless payment platform that allows users to make purchases, send money, earn rewards and more using their smartphones. The app has over 150 million users in 40 countries and competes with other services like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Microsoft has recently been testing several payment tools for its Microsoft Edge browser. While the features will not help the company compete directly with the likes of Google Pay, it will provide Microsoft with more of a foothold in the payments market.
Twitter is another tech giant that is looking to branch out into payments and has applied for regulatory licensing to become a PayPal-like service.
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