Apple Pay allows users to register their credit cards and bank (debit) cards in the native Apply Wallet app, and then use those cards at NFC enabled payment terminals to pay for purchases. When the payment terminal is ready to accept payment for a purchase, the iPhone is brought in the RF range of the payment terminal, the iPhone detects the RF field and identifies it as a payment terminal and then presents the appropriate bank card to the terminal as if the card itself was used. Apple claims that Apple Pay is accepted at over 85% of retailers in the USA (2021) and is safer and more secure than swipe based contact transactions.
While contactless payments in Apple Pay do use NFC, they do not use NFC tags or the NDEF standard. Contactless NFC cards use their own standards, chips, controllers, encoding and security which is not a part of Connected Things.
It is not possible to clone or copy an NFC credit card with an iPhone.