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NEW YORK ( -- Mobile wallets have made a big splash in recent years, but a study shows there may be more discussion going on than actual use. Research from Thrive Analytics shows far more people in America know about digital wallets than actually use them.

According to the study, 78% of consumers are aware of the existence of digital wallets, yet only 32% have actually used them. These numbers include using PayPal on a PC. This massive gap implies shoppers are essentially staying away from mobile wallets, no matter how prevalent they have become.

There are a few reasons people may not have jumped on the digital wallet bandwagon. Some say they question the security of digital wallets, and others say they don't have a compelling reason to use them.

Also see: Nearly 70% of U.S. Consumers Want Their Chip-and-PIN Credit Cards>>

Many users feel it is still easier to pay with cash or a card than to use a digital wallet. Yet half of all consumers now carry less than $20 cash on a regular basis.

Sixty percent of digital wallet transactions are conducted on a mobile device.

Among the digital wallets consumers have used, PayPal was clearly the leader, with 79% of people who said they had used digital wallets saying they have used PayPal. Google followed with 40%, and Apple Passbook had been used by 17% of the respondents.

The study also revealed how often people use digital wallets: 33% of those surveyed who had used digital wallets said they use them once a week, while 31% said they used them once a month. Only 7% indicated using their mobile and computer-based wallets on a daily basis.

Bill Hardekopf is chief executive of

, which compares and rates more than 1,000 credit cards. He is the co-author of "The Credit Card Guidebook."