What I think NFC needs ...
... if you lose your wallet with £20 in it, then you've lost £20 (and your kids photos, the tickets to that awesome gig you were going to next week, your driving licence, your credit cards etc.) so really you don't want to lose your wallet. And if you have your handbag stolen, you may lose all that, plus your car keys, house keys etc.
So what can NFC do? Well, it can put it all into one smaller, easier to steal, easier to lose package *but* it can also have all that backed up across the network *and* provide ways of securing/wiping your phone if it is stolen.
At the moment if your handbag is stolen, you are advised to change your house and car locks, to cancel your credit cards etc. and you have to rebuild your paper address book and diary from scratch. Put it all on a portable device and (in theory) if it is stolen, you can walk into CarphoneWarehouse, pick up a new phone, give some security information and download a new copy of your contacts, diary, money, Oyster card, debit card etc. (and have the old one on the stolen/lost phone locked/erased).
Sounds fairly cool to me.
PIN numbers are good ... but you could even have the display show a grid of photos and you have to know which one (or two) to touch when you wave your phone for it to work as a car start or a payment authorisation. Or have a unique pattern you pick to draw on a screen (smiley face, backwards letter K, whatever) lots of ways of stopping an NFC phone being used by anyone who grabs it from you ... even have a gesture that locks the phone for hours so that if someone forces you to give them a gesture, you can lock the phone long enough to get to another phone/computer and have it erased/tracked.
And obviously you can use the NFC the other way around, to give a precise location start to your GPS, so when you touch in at Waterloo Station, your phone knows where you are and can ask for train times, send a message that you'll be late and that the house should turn the heating on etc.
And similarly you can use it instead of wifi for syncing the phone to your NFC enabled laptop etc.
Combine NFC with wireless charging and bluetooth headset and enough onboard memory, and you could even have a phone that could be completely sealed to keep out water and sand and everything else ...
... I can imagine a time when you place your phone into a holder on your car (or a "streetcar" or other communal car), it identifies you, unlocks the car, has your music on the phone (or available through Spotify etc.) and your GPS locations etc. and so the phone works with the car "brain" to personalise the car and get you home/to work/to friends. With your diary on the phone, it can even know what day and time it is now, so when you put it in the car it can say "Going to K&M's BBQ?" and have a route figured out.
And no proprietary cables or connectors!