School case study: the psychology of getting paid on time

John’s life is a juggling act. He has one too many accounts to pay and most months he chooses which accounts to settle in full.

DSTV is the first priority because the Rugby World Cup just started. Everything else comes in descending order of importance, including his children’s school fees.

Now John works in the banking sector, so his credit record is important to him. Because he receives SMS’s from TPN Credit Bureau monthly on how his rental payment has affected his credit record, he never misses a payment, pays late or in part.

The power of a positive payment profile

John’s children go to a lovely school. He knows from trial and error that partial payment of his school fees does not result in serious consequences for him in the short term. Until his school affiliated with TPN for Schools that is!

Within in a few months of receiving an SMS to notify him that his partial school fee payment has negatively affected his credit record, John suddenly changed. Here’s a look at what he received from TPN on behalf of the school:

SMS 1: Credit Record Alert; Only PART of your February School Fee was paid, your TPN record adversely affected. Phone (school number) for more info.

SMS 2: Credit Record Alert; Only PART of your March School Fee was paid, your TPN record adversely affected. Phone (school number) for more info.

SMS 3: Thanks for paying your April School Fee on time. Your TPN credit record has been positively updated. Phone (school number) for more info.

Shortly after the 2nd SMS, John arrived at the school to settle the R20 000 in outstanding school fees and has never again missed a payment or partially paid:


The Pavlov Principle

These days, John only receives SMS’s to notify him that his credit record has positively been updated. This motivates him and keeps his payment behaviour positive as he is instantly rewarded for it.

The school is happy, John is happy and Pavlov was right!

*Graphic is not the credit information of a real person but the case reported on is real.

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