After a reveal back in May and the promise of a summer launch in New York and San Francisco, Google and its partners have started rolling out an update to Sprint's Nexus S 4G today that enables Google Wallet -- the most ambitious US deployment of phone-based contactless payments to date. NFC-enabled phones have been floating around Europe, Asia, and several American trials for the better part of a decade, but it's taken quite an orchestra to get to where we are today: Citibank, MasterCard, Verifone, First Data, and Sprint are all playing a role in making this happen, which explains (in part) why it's taken so long for a major industry force like Google to get to this point. Additionally, Google has just announced that it has licensed the NFC specs for Visa, Discover, and American Express cards, so we're hoping for a whole lot more card compatibility soon.

We've been playing with a Google Wallet-enabled Nexus S 4G in New York for a while, picking up everything from polos (well, simulated polos -- you'll see in the video) to cans of Coors Light... and we've done it all without pulling out a wallet, purse, or money clip. Want to know what it's like to pay for your cab fare with a phone? Read on.