NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last year's Target payment card breach, which went public in the heart of the busy holiday shopping season, had the potential to derail the popularity of bank debit cards.
But damage to the debit card brand wasn't even close to being a serious threat.
So says the Debit Issuer Study, which reports more robust use of debit cards, although card providers aren't just tightening card security measures, but sweetening the pot with ample rewards programs.
The Target data breach resulted in the theft of 40 million credit and debit cards, with the personal data of 70 million people exposed to security fraudsters. It also cost the job of Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chief executive, after 35 years in the retail business.
But if there was any backlash to the debacle, it proved either minimal or non-existent, according to Houston-based Pulse, which tracks the consumer and commercial business market and published the study.
One big reason? The card industry has had some success convincing consumers that a transition to "EuroPay Master Card and Visa" -- a global standard for chip-based credit or debit cards -- will offer better security for card users.
According to Pulse, 86% of financial institutions say they will issue EMV-based cards by the end of next year, a big increase from 50% in 2012.