SINGAPORE: One-in-five (19.5%) consumers in Asia-Pacific now use digital wallets, representing a two-fold increase from two years ago (9.7%), a recent survey has revealed.

According to MasterCard's latest Mobile Shopping Survey, a poll of 8,500 adults aged 18 to 64 across 14 markets, smartphone users in China (45%), India (36.7%) and Singapore (23.3%) are the biggest adopters of digital wallets in the region.

While mobile banking apps (31.8%) are still the most widely used, among new mobile technologies such as in-app shopping and mobile near field communication payments, digital wallets have recorded the fastest uptake over the last two years.

The survey was conducted between October and December 2015 and also found that half (48.5%) of consumers in the region made a purchase using their smartphone in the previous three months.

Indian consumers led the way with 76.4% using a smartphone to make a purchase, an increase of 29.3% from two years ago, followed by consumers in China (76.1%), South Korea (62%) and Thailand (61.1%).

After India, growth was most pronounced in Vietnam, up 17.7% from two years ago, and Singapore (up 17.1%). Australians (23.7%) and New Zealanders (16.2%) were found to be the least likely to shop online via their mobile devices.

"New forms of mobile payment technology, such as MasterCard's digital wallet MasterPass, are making transactions easier and safer, online, in-app and in-store," said Raj Dhamodharan, MasterCard's Asia Pacific group head of digital payments.

"As more and more merchant apps provide shopping and services, consumers need a digital wallet that provides the best balance between security and convenience."

Indeed, more than half (53.9%) of respondents cited convenience as the key driver for shopping on their smartphones with other motivating factors include the ability to shop on the go (42.9%) and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online (41.4%).

And in terms of categories, clothing and accessories (35%), personal care and beauty products (20.9%), and movie tickets (20.4%) emerged as the top mobile purchases.

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff