AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, have set up a different NFC system called Isis. It will work with the same NFC terminals as Wallet (an app that Verizon saw fit to block from its Nexus) and link to more credit cards. But its launch sometime this summer will initially stop at some merchants in Austin and Salt Lake City.
So for now, NFC means Google Wallet. And it's been kind of a pain.
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In a second attempt at a CVS, the Wallet app worked, but it would have been faster to swipe a card. CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis didn't say how many NFC transactions it's processed since it began taking contactless payments in 2005.
A few days later, the Wallet app on a loaner Sprint HTC Evo 4G LTE complained that it had "not yet been certified." Google and Sprint reps e-mailed that the companies are working to fix an unspecified "software issue."
In the meantime, the credit card just works. And it keeps getting better, as smartphone and tablet-connected card readers like those from Square, PayPal and others let even the tiniest merchants take plastic.