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Despite increased fraud attempts in 2008, fraud-loss rates per debit card decreased from the previous year, according to the Pulse electronic funds transfer network's 2009 Debit Issuer study released last week. The signature-debit loss rate dropped to $1.81 per card from $1.92, while the PIN-debit loss rate decreased to 15 cents per card from 19 cents. Last year, fewer financial institutions mass-reissued cards following a data breach, the study found. "What we're seeing is that the industry is working very diligently in preventing payment card fraud, and that is having an effect," Cindy Ballard, Pulse executive vice president, tells CardLine sister publication ATM&Debit News. Of the 73 financial institutions surveyed, 57% last year reissued cards based on the type of data that was compromised, and 37% monitored fraud activity on compromised cards to determine whether reissuing is necessary, the report says. Most of those issuers are large banks with sophisticated fraud-detection systems, the study notes.

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