Credit union service organizations (CUSOs) have increased credit unions’ visibility, competitiveness, and market power. They are attracting monetary, intellectual, and physical resources from credit union owners that see potential in the innovative and collaborative model that CUSOs provide. Surcharge-free ATM networks, shared branching, member-focused financial services, and member-friendly mortgage and auto lending systems have all derived from the entrepreneurial spirit that drives CUSOs. New CUSOs in the marketplace build on a history of collaboration and innovation while meeting new credit union and member needs. Sharing solutions and data demonstrate the power of credit unions’ ultimate competitive advantage – cooperation.
At June 30, 2009, the CUSO market was thriving. Credit union investments in CUSOs neared $1.2 billion and loans to CUSOs rose to $655.7 million. Yet only 30% of credit unions have either an investment in or loan to a CUSO. Continuing to convince other credit unions about the power of CUSOs will remain a top priority for continued growth and expansion.
For more on this vital part of the credit union system, turn to the 2010 Credit Union Directory.