My NFC credit cards work from inside my wallets outermost pockets. So it's actually faster to get wallet out, touch to NFC and put away than by Apple Pay etc. I've heard the argument that Apple Watch makes it faster, and possibly it does, but then so would attaching my credit card to my forearm and I have no intention of doing either!
For the case of using the default card in Apple Pay vs. using a single NFC card in the outer pocket of a wallet, it seems to me that they take the same amount of time and effort. In either case, it's a matter of taking a similarly-sized item out of a pocket or purse, holding it against the reader for a moment, then replacing it in the pocket or purse. In the Apple Pay case, the user needs to rest a registered thumb or finger against the thumbprint reader (which is integrated into the home button), but doing so is probably already a reflexive move whenever taking the device out of a pocket or purse since that is how you unlock the device anyway. It's not necessary to manipulate any other buttons, look at the screen, or touch the screen in order to use the user-specified default card, and the phone generates a short vibration after the NFC transaction completes for haptic feedback.
What if you have multiple NFC-enabled cards that the reader might accept? How do you determine which one to use? I think you'll need to take the desired card out of your wallet then to separate it enough from the others. With Apple Pay, you flip through the list of cards on the screen if you want to use a different one than the default. Whether that's faster or not might vary depending on how you carry your cards. I only have one of my cards set up for Apple Pay right now, so I haven't tried it yet.
73 de NF6X