just to be clear, it's not the Google Wallet app that is causing the problem, per se.
it is the security settings on the NFC chip.
whats going on, is that I didn't disable the google wallet app before I did the factory reset, therefore the NFc chip is still linked to my google wallet account and is locked by pincode.
now when I try to set up google wallet again after the reset, the NFC chip, behind the scenes, is requiring a pincode that i cannot enter. and therefore, the new installation of Google Wallet, on my factory-reset phone cannot connect to the NFC chip.