Digital Communication Strategies: The Impact of Framing in Debt Collection Messages

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The omission bias may be able to partially explain why people, even when confronted with debt collection reminder communication, refrain from settling their claim. While the framing of a message has shown to be effective in unravelling certain cognitive biases and facilitating rational decision-making, little is known regarding the impact of the omission bias in this context. Therefore, based on debt collection agency (PAIR Finance) data, the present study explores the success of the Omission-to-Commission (O-to-C) framing as a communication strategy to counter the omission bias. Results of the natural field experiment indicate that implementing the (general) O-to-C framing in a reminder message increases reaction behaviour. When controlling for age, gender and debt size, debtors are significantly more likely to engage with a payment reminder if the O-to-C framing is used. Additionally, a significant interaction effect was found between the O-to-C framing and gender, showing that female consumers were more likely to react to the O-to-C framing than males. These findings indicate that reframing the act of non-payment as a deliberate choice `not to act' significantly increases reactions following a reminder message, with a stronger effect on female consumers.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoziale Themen in Unternehmens- und Wirtschaftskommunikation: Social Issues in Corporate and Business Communication
EditorsChristopher M. Schmidt, Sabine Heinemann, Volker Markus Banholzer, Martin Nielsen, Florian U. Siems
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherSpringer Fachmedien Wiesbaden
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-3-658-40705-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

External IDs

unpaywall 10.1007/978-3-658-40705-6_3