KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is ranked third in mobile shopping growth in Asia Pacific, just behind Taiwan and India, according to MasterCard's Mobile Shopping Survey. The country recorded over 20% growth, up from 25.4% in 2012 to 45.6% in 2014. One of the key factors fueling this growth is the number of Malaysians accessing the internet through their mobile phones, which has risen steadily from 81.2% in 2012 to 94.6% in 2014. Malaysians are shopping on their mobile phones due to the increasing availability of apps that make shopping easy (46.2%), the ability to shop on the go (44.8%) and the convenience of using a mobile phone (42.4%). On the other hand, Malaysians who have not used mobile phones for online shopping cited preference for shopping via PC/ laptop (77.7%), at an actual store (61.4%), and via their tablet (48.3%). The research found that Malaysians who did shop online via their mobile phones were discerning in their options, planning ahead and reviewing options available before making purchases. About 51.3% of Malaysians have compared prices at stores with online prices, followed by 47.1% who have conducted an online search before heading to a physical store and 46% who have conducted research online before buying offline. The top three categories of items that Malaysians bought using their mobile phones are clothing and accessories (26.2%), airline tickets (23.3%) and phone apps (23.3%). In general, Malaysians are optimistic towards using new mobile technologies in the future. Current levels of usage suggest a good degree of familiarity – mobile banking apps took the lead (38.2%), followed by in-app shopping (24.4%) and in-social network marketplace apps (20.6%). MasterCard group country manager for Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; and group head of Islamic payments for Southeast Asia Safdar Khan said the vast growth of mobile commerce will likely be on an upward trend as Malaysians embrace new technology in their daily lives. "As a payments technology company, we are committed to providing innovative payments solutions that facilitate safe and convenient online payments. Security and innovation are the cornerstone of our payment offerings and ensuring that Malaysians are able to shop with peace of mind is our priority," he said in a statement yesterday.