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Report #554 |

The Next Generation CUSO: New CUSO Models for Growth and Innovation

Credit unions are redeploying the credit union service organization (CUSO) model to create new avenues for growth through innovative collaboration.

  • Melissa K. Wrapp University of California, Irvine

Executive Summary

This study describes recent developments in the ways credit unions have redefined strategic partnerships with credit union service organizations (CUSOs). Next generation CUSOs offer rapidly evolving innovations across product and service offerings and a new approach to sustaining growth and diversifying revenue. Driven by digital transformation, the provision of new fintech services, creative approaches to revenue generation, and new investment models, CUSOs now offer a qualitatively different collaborative opportunity for credit unions looking for more sustainable business models.   

Credit Union Implications

The constancy of collaboration is the backbone of the credit union movement. Credit unions looking to partner with next generation CUSOs should consider these three things:

  • Align internally on your strategy before looking for partnership and investment opportunities that support your goals.
  • Assess partnerships and get to know potential collaborators.
  • Learn by doing; test out opportunities to build understanding and experience.

Partnering with next generation CUSOs offers a vital new opportunity for collaboration that can help credit unions spark new growth, shore up balance sheets, and allow credit unions to take advantage of fintech offerings from a position of strength. 


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