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I think lack of an agreed upon standard is a bigger problem. There are ways to make payments with the iPhone that don't use NFC. As jimlynch pointed out, Apple does have "their Passbook thing". There are more smartphones, aside from iPhones, that are coming out with NFC, and some of those are midrange devices, such as the LG Optimus Elite, so NFC is becoming somewhat more common. Until there is a standard for payment that approaches the ubiquity of MasterCard or Visa, I would expect smartphone based payment to be something of a niche category. It's kind of a chicken and egg thing - which is needed first, adoption of the technology by merchants, or spread of the technology among consumers who will use it? I'm not sure, but I think if you get either one in place, the other will follow.