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Hands-On: Ditching Cards and Cash for the Google Wallet App


Until today, that NFC chip on your Sprint Nexus S 4G hasn't been living up to its potential. Today, though, today Google and Sprint have given it life -- and with it, certain death to many a MasterCard balance. Google Wallet is Android's long-awaited mobile payment app, which allows you to morph a smartphone into a full-fledged spending machine.

Before we start: If you're not sure what NFC is, might we recommend a read of our NFC primer? It'll tell you everything you need to know about near-field communication.

Now, a quick history lesson: In 2003, MasterCard introduced PayPass, a system in which a credit card outfitted with a near-field communication (NFC) chip could be passed within a couple inches of a reader to pay without swiping. Google Wallet, however, takes the card entirely out of the equation and turns your handset into an agent for credit cards or cold, hard cash.


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