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Chip and PIN technology has helped cut credit card fraud by 13 per cent in the last year, its first decline in a decade, according to new figures.

Data from the Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) shows that losses due to the fraudulent use of credit and debit cards fell last year by £65m to £439m.

The drop is the first since 1995, Apacs said, and it credited the industry's decision to introduce chip and PIN cards for the improvement.

Fraudulent card use has dropped across most categories, according to the report. Only transactions over the phone, internet or by post showed increases, climbing 21 per cent on the year.

"Seeing card fraud losses come down is cast-iron proof that chip and PIN is doing its job," Apacs coporate communications director Sandra Quinn said.

"Of course, while our cards are safer than ever before, the fraudsters clearly aren’t going to give up so neither will we.

"Now chip and PIN is in place, the banking industry is discussing how to leverage chip and PIN to better protect card-not-present transactions and we hope this will lead to progress later this year about what this means for cardholders and retailers."

Chip and PIN cards were first introduced in 2004, but their use did not become mandatory until Valentine’s Day this year.

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