You're massively overreacting to a biased headline. What is meant by "Apple locks NFC to Apple Pay" is simply "Apple have only provided APIs for Apple Pay so far".
This is pretty standard practice with new Apple hardware features.
Bluetooth? Originally developers couldn't access that at all, only the higher-level gaming APIs used it.
Touch ID? Again, developers couldn't access that at all to begin with, but iOS was released yesterday and that introduced an API for developers to use it.
The camera? Originally developers could only tell the system that they wanted a photo. Now we've got fine-grained control over shutter speed, etc.
Apple have a habit of introducing hardware features then providing a third-party API after they've had a chance to see it deployed at a large scale. If you are a long-time iPhone user, you've seen them do this time and time again. The fact that there isn't an API for it on day one doesn't mean that they are trying to lock it away.