According to the UK Cards Association, total fraud losses on UK cards was £186.8 million in the first half, down 20% on the same period in 2009 and the lowest figure for 10 years.
The association, which counts all the country's major card issuers and acquiring banks, claims the fall is down to several industry initiatives, including the increasing roll-out of updated chip cards and ongoing work with the retail community to improve the security of their equipment.
Other factors include greater sign-up to MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, increased use of fraud detection tools by banks and retailers and the growing roll-out of chip and PIN abroad.
Card-not-present fraud fell 12% to 118.2 million while counterfeit losses were down 39% to £28.2 million. Fraud on lost or stolen cards was £21.3 million, down 15% and card ID theft dropped 37% to £15 million. The only type to see a rise during the period was mail non-receipt card fraud, up nine per cent to £3.8 million.
Fraud committed in the UK was down 18% to 135.2 million and the losses accrued abroad also fell, by 23%, to £51.5 million.
Meanwhile, online banking fraud losses in H1 plummeted 36% compared to the same period the previous year to £24.9 million. However, the association warns that over the past five years fraud losses in this area have been fairly volatile over six-month periods so the latest fall is not necessarily the start of an ongoing trend.
Cheque fraud losses were down 13% to £13.5 million, although this is in part explained by the ever decreasing popularity of the payment method. Phone banking fraud was up nine per cent to £5.8 million.
Melanie Johnson, chair, UK Cards Association, says: "These figures are testament to the importance that the UK's card companies place on driving down card fraud losses and reducing any inconvenience to customers. We are determined to make sure that customers feel as safe and secure as possible when they use their cards. To that end the banking industry is committed to detecting and preventing card fraud in all its guises."