Google is full of neat, futuristic ideas, but none has appealed to me to the same degree that Google Wallet has. It’s a practical, easy solution that will, in time, allow me to carry one less bulky item. You can watch the above video for a quick introduction to Google Wallet, and then read on for some perspective. For those who didn’t watch the video: Google Wallet is basically a credit and debit card (plus more), right on your Android phone. Right now it works with the Citi MasterCard, but at launch Google announced partnerships with Visa, American Express, and Discover. Wallet will eventually work with all those platforms, which gives everyone more payment options. More importantly, it will likely hasten the retail adoption of NFC readers. That’s the key, really. The idea of NFC payments is nice, but if stores and restaurants don’t have the proper equipment to read them it’s worthless. For now, the process will remain a little complicated. In order to use Google Wallet you’ll have to add funds to what’s called the Google Prepaid Card. You can fund this with your existing debit and credit cards. It just means one more account balance to track. From there you can hold your NFC-compatible phone up to any PayPass terminal, and it’s just like paying with a credit or debit card. And, because Google Wallet also stores loyalty and convenience cards, you have even less of a reason to carry a wallet. This might be a bigger development for guys than gals. Guys know what I’m talking about. Wallet bulge is no fun. It can be uncomfortable, especially if you stow your wallet in your back pocket, and it’s unsightly at times. You’ll still carry around the same number of items, but you’ll reduce your wallet to a simple money clip. Plus, money clips are way cooler than wallets. In any case, I’m eager to leave all those cards behind and keep all my payments in one place. It’s not coming for me yet, though. Only Nexus S customers on Sprint will receive Google Wallet, which will come in the form of a push update. But soon enough this will hit all NFC-compatible Android devices. A bit later, but still hopefully soon, more and more retailers will add PayPass stations. And then we can all walk around just a little bit lighter.