Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 595–616 | Cite as

Exploring the link between payment schemes and customer fraud: a mental accounting perspective

  • Ina GarnefeldEmail author
  • Andreas Eggert
  • Markus Husemann-Kopetzky
  • Eva Böhm
Original Empirical Research


Containing customer fraud has great economic relevance. This research proposes a fresh approach, derived from mental accounting theory and behavioral pricing research. Large-scale field data from more than 100,000 insurance customers and a follow-up experiment reveal that payment schemes influence customer fraud. Specifically, customers with annual payment schedules submit more rejected claims soon after their lump sum payments, and customers with monthly payment schedules exhibit greater customer fraud, in an effect that increases over time and decreases with greater category involvement. Customers who actively pay using money transfers submit about 40% more claims that get rejected than those who rely on more passive payment methods, such as autopay or direct debit. Marketing practitioners thus should reconsider frequent payment schedules and active payment options and monitor customer behavior after lump sum payments. For marketing research, this study opens a new research avenue, linking customer misbehavior and behavioral pricing research within a mental accounting framework.


Customer fraud Behavioral pricing Payment scheme Mental accounting 



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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ina Garnefeld
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Eggert
    • 2
  • Markus Husemann-Kopetzky
    • 2
  • Eva Böhm
    • 2
  1. 1.Marketing DepartmentUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  2. 2.Marketing DepartmentUniversity of PaderbornPaderbornGermany

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