Nearly 80 percent of U.S. consumers responding to an online poll said they are aware that they could be using digital wallets, but not nearly as many actually do.

Only 32 percent said they used alternative systems such as PayPal, Google Wallet or Apple Passbook for payments. Security was the main concern for 46 percent of respondents, while 37 percent perceived that it was easier to pay with cash, according to Thrive Analytics' 2014 digital wallet usage research.

The Kettering, Ohio-based data analytics firm conducted the study with more than 2,000 consumers ages 18 and older during the month of June.

PayPal was the most popular alternative payment option, with 79 percent of users picking it as a first choice. Google Wallet was chosen by 40 percent and Apple Passbook by 17 percent.

The Isis wallet, which is facing issues tied to its branding, was picked by just 4 percent. Isis, a venture of several U.S. telcos, plans to change its name to distance itself from a Middle East militant organization operating under the same name.

Of those polled, only 2 percent said they have used Visa's digital wallet (which is also changing its name, to Visa Checkout).

Forty-three percent of digital wallet users are between ages 18 and 29 and use the products at least once a week. More prefer using a digital wallet through a tablet (60 percent) than through a mobile phone (40 percent).

Nine out of 10 consumers who use a digital wallet said they had a positive experience and considered them convenient to use, according to the study.

Typically, consumers using digital wallets made low-value purchases such as coffee, digital games or books, some retail items and some groceries.

Apple's Passbook is used more often on a weekly basis than other digital wallets, but the transactions are typically less than $10, the study said. Apple's Passbook is designed as tool for consumers to store third-party payment apps, coupons or tickets.

Twenty three percent of respondents said they use a merchant app to purchase products or services, while 14 percent said they use the app to pay their monthly bills. Eight percent use the merchant app to purchase gift cards.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry