U.S. banks are losing ground in the battle to combat credit and debit card fraud, a new report shows, underscoring the growing threat thieves and hackers pose for the financial system. Globally, security is improving in the payment industry, according to data released the week of October 3 by the Nilson Report, a California trade publication. For every $100 worth of credit and debit card transactions last year, 4.46 cents were lost to fraud worldwide in 2010, down from 4.71 cents in 2009. But many of the security gains were at banks in Europe and Asia, which have adopted stricter security procedures such as issuing cards with computerized chips to help verify purchases, said the publisher of the Nilson Report. Meanwhile, U.S. banks and merchants have balked at the expense of conversion. As a result, fraud in the United States accounted for 47 percent of global fraud losses last year, up from about 46.5 percent in 2009, and 44 percent in the middle of the last decade, he said. Total fraud losses worldwide were $7.6 billion in 2010, up 10 percent from 2009, the report found.