Apple have the best chance
I order my mochachocachino and extra fat muffin, and the till guy says: "That'll be £17.85 please."
I launch the payment app on my phone, which was in my hand anyway, and tap it on the NFC sensor. Beep! Payment made.
No fishing in my wallet. No bulky change. No resting my MasterCard Paypass on the reader for 20 seconds while it goes "reading... Authenticating... Making payment... Payment approved" (WTF?!?) And they wonder why it doesn't catch on?!?)
I get a end-of-day statement from Apple with all my transactions. Starchucks Coffee gets my detailed usage from Apple, including what I ordered, what my social profile is, etc because I opted to volunteer all that when I joined their coffee club in return for free extras and free wifi. Maybe I explicitly authorised Starchucks to debit my account without confirmation from my payment app, whereas backpack attackers would prompt a confirmation dialogue on my phone (think Bluetooth "do you wish to accept mycarad.mp4?")
If the next iPhone launches with NFC payment, are retailers going to say "Ha, no-one uses iPhones. And anyway, we don't want that demographic!". Or are they going be calling their payment processors: "Bloody support Apple NFC payments YESTERDAY!"
Nope. Apple made tablets happen. They can make eMoney happen. The big fly in the ointment is Visa and MasterCard, who would prefer that Apple don't grab a chunk of their revenue. Although my iTunes balance (and my Starchucks coffee) is paid daily from my visa card. If iPhones take 5% of cash transactions in high-street retail to Mastercard and Visa instead, they might not mind too much.
And, of course, there are financial regulators to think about... Worldwide.
But still. NFC/eMoney has been a joke, in that there are so many disparate, half-arsed proof-of-concept / pilot efforts out there. If anyone can do it, Apple can; the question is whether it's beyond even them.