Two important differences for Apple Pay
1) Apple Pay is using one time codes for payments, so the retailer's insecurity (or any potential MITM attack on NFC payment devices) doesn't affect you, nor does the retailer gain any info such as your name/address/etc. so your purchases are as anonymous as if you used cash.
2) Apple doesn't get the retailer's name or what you bought and even if they wished to, won't be able to use this to amass an even larger store of personal information to use against you pushing ads in your face like Google. Nor are they taking a cut from the transaction like the carrier NFC efforts do (or at least are trying to do in some countries)
Basically they've killed anyone's efforts trying to use NFC to take a cut of the payment for themselves, so those trying to do so are probably hating life today, no doubt having calculated that Apple would try to take a cut and they could get by taking less. Google/Samsung's efforts will still be alive and well, but I suspect they'll eventually be forced to use one time codes to secure their solution even though it means giving up all that juicy personal data, meanwhile Apple haters will still claim that Apple "copied" others by adding NFC.
I've always said NFC is a "solution looking for a problem" since using it rather than swiping a card provides no benefit. However, the lack of anonymity when swiping a card has always been an issue with me that sometimes has me using cash, but for purchases I want anonymity for using NFC, while no faster than swiping a card, is faster than counting out cash and waiting for change that rattles around in your pocket all day until ending up in a big jar back home.