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If you got 'free money' from Apple Pay and CashApp, you should check your balances

Apple Pay

A free cash exploit involving Apple Cash and CashApp that spread on social media turns out not to be so free, with users waking up on Friday to find negative account balances.

Apple Pay and CashApp along with several financial service platforms reported outages overnight on Thursday and into early Friday morning. It is unclear at this time how or if the outages are related.

Some customers discovered they were able to affect a transfer from their CashApp account to Apple Pay in $50 increments even if their CashApp account was empty. Some used the ill-gotten gain to obtain DoorDash deliveries.

Users saw payment and cash transfers fail and found themselves unable to access accounts for hours, beginning on Thursday. The exact cause is still unknown, but services appear slowly to be returning to normal on Friday morning.

Apple noted an issue with Apple Cash transactions on Thursday evening, which it marked as resolved on Friday on its own System Status webpage.

"Some users were not able to set up Apple Cash, send and receive money, or transfer to bank with Apple Cash," said Apple.

Square appeared to be ground zero for many of the issues. The company took to its own support pages and social media on Thursday to acknowledge problems. The company noted on X that it the issue was not the result of hackers.

"Services are steadily regaining their functionality, and we will share any additional updates on this platform as soon as they become available," stated the company at 5:21 AM Pacific Time on Friday. Square's status page shows that multiple services were disrupted and were still experiencing "degraded performance," as AppleInsider posted this article.

Cash App reported similar issues on its US support site. The company acknowledged problems with sending and receiving money, advising customers on Thursday to avoid reattempting any failed transactions until the issue was resolved.

The free money bonanza ended as abruptly as it started, with some social media posters noting that their CashApp accounts had been locked, and Apple Pay accounts now reporting negative numbers.

By Friday morning, Cash App told customers that they could add cash and make purchases with their Cash Card.

"We're continuing to get the ability to send payments and cash out back up and running," said the company.