And Google isn't? I thought Android won? Face it, they don't bother with talking to anyone, they just expect them to come to them to beg working with them because they are so fucking awesome. And if they do, they abandon them after a couple of years because Google refocuses.
The problem with Google's implementation is that Google wants to be the payment provider. This is "better" in some ways because it means more flexible funding schemes (Apple requires Visa, MasterCard or American Expess). However, it has a major downside - Google is now a major participant in your transactiona because the retailer charges Google, and Google charges your payment provider, so now Google gets the details of your transaction, which depending on the retailer can include what item you actually bought.
The other downside is it means Google has to work with every payment system out there to get them to accept Google Wallet as a valid payment mechanism.
Apple's method means it works anywhere that accepts contactless Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards. Because Apple Pay appears to the retailer as a regular credit card so retailers have to do zero effort. Google Wallet makes it so they have to sign up with new payment providers and all that to specially take Google Wallet.
Use Apple Pay and Apple doesn't know about the transaction as it's a more standard credit card transaction that's handled between banks.
As for NFC restricted to Apple Pay? That's iOS 8. It most likely means the APIs for it are far from stable and/or Apple doesn't have a good way of handling events in NFC under the current security architecture. iOS9 can easily change it.
it's just like TouchID - last year it was only for bypassing the PIN and for iTunes purchases. In iOS8 it's allowed to be used for third party authentication in apps. You can bet iOS9 will have NFC APIs for app use.