Behavioral responses to credit repayment: the effect of messages and renegotiations offers

Last registered on July 08, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Behavioral responses to credit repayment: the effect of messages and renegotiations offers
Initial registration date
May 11, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 11, 2021, 11:48 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
July 08, 2021, 4:24 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Warwick, Warwick Business School

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Universidad de los Andes
PI Affiliation
Universidad de los Andes

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This project aims to offer clues on the behavioral motives that affect financial decision-making by individuals. We evaluate the randomized administration of behaviorally motivated SMS messages and renegotiation options implemented by a financial institution. The treatments will include behaviorally motivated texts intended to nudge non-business clients into debt repayment. Thus, our trial will test out the effectiveness of behaviorally motivated messages, the relative effectiveness of different behavioral motives and the interaction of these two elements with renegotiation options. This way, through randomization and a period of monitoring and follow-up on clients, this project hopes to identify the most effective behavioral motives for financial nudges in relation to repayment outcomes and to clients with varying levels of risk for financial institutions.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Barboni, Giorgia, Juan Camilo Cardenas Campo and Nicolás de Roux. 2021. "Behavioral responses to credit repayment: the effect of messages and renegotiations offers." AEA RCT Registry. July 08.
Experimental Details


The partner bank's clients are classified into three large intervention groups: up-to-date clients, low-risk defaulter clients, and high-risk defaulter clients with renegotiation possibilities. The three groups undergo different interventions: The first two receive behaviorally motivated messages that push towards repayment efforts, while the third group receives a combination of messages with renegotiation offers. Individuals are randomly selected to undergo different treatment (i. e. messages or renegotiation offers). Then, along the trial, clients keep on receiving the behaviorally motivated messages periodically until they step out of the group (become defaulters, for the case of the first group, or up-to-date clients, for groups 2 and 3). Herein, repayment rates are constantly measured to evaluate short-term and medium-term effects of the treatments on behavior.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The study is mainly interested in repayment behavior. Thus, the primary outcome of interest is the repayment rates of the bank's customers. This will be the primary outcome for the interventions on defaulting clients. Conversely, the default rates are also an interesting variable of interest and will be the main outcome of interest for the case of up-to-date clients (group two).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The default rates will be measures in three ways with the purpose of capturing the different timeliness of the treatment effects. First, we will measure repayment rates on a fixed short-term period after treatment. That is, we will measure the clients' immediate responses to our treatments. This will let us know the short-term impact of the messages and renegotiation offers.
Second, we will measure the time clients take to make payments since they receive treatments. We intend to observe the time it takes for treatments to nudge clients and how do clients respond to our treatment schedule. This second measurement will offer an approach to the mid-term impact of the treatments.
Third, we will measure group repayment rates at the end of the trial to capture the long-term effects of our treatments.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes relate to the clients' perception of the bank. At the end of the trial, we will observe if treatment groups have a differentiated perception of it relative to control groups. The items of interest in relation to client perception follow on the themes we delve into with our treatments.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
An end survey will be sent for clients that are part of our trial. The survey will both cover basic information and perception questions. Through a Lickert-type survey design, we intend to evaluate how the behaviorally motivated messages impact the bank's reputation among its clients.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Clients are classified according to their characteristics and the status of their relationship with the bank into three groups: low-risk defaulter clients and up-to-date clients. Each group of clients will undergo a separate intervention. Then, within the groups clients are randomly assigned to the different treatment branches and control groups for each intervention.
On the one side, interventions 1 and 2 have the objective of raising repayment rates on clients by sending behaviorally motivated SMS messages. Clients will be distributed among the different behavioral themes that build up the messages and the control groups. The messages will be sent throughout a period of 3 months, the duration of the trial for these clients. At the end, we will assess the impact of different behavioral motives on the clients' repayment rate.
On the other side, intervention 3 has the objective of evaluating the impact of renegotiation options and their interaction with behaviorally motivated SMSs. Clients will be distributed among both behavioral themes and types of renegotiation offers. Afterwards, they will be followed up and observed during a seven-month period to finally assess the impact of their particular treatments and the take-up of the renegotiation offers.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
We randomize stratifying by the credit score the clients hold within the bank and the group of clients the banks classifies them into. Then, we use SQL random number generators to order clients randomly and select the higher-ups from the population in the strata to treatment groups.
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Intervention 1: 8,000 Intervention 2: 9,000 Intervention 3: 15,000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Clients will be assigned into groups consisting of a thousand people. These groups will receive a different treatment each. The third intervention remains to be fixed.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials