So, what’s the correlation between CUSO investment and superior performance? The answer to that question varies with each institution, but Callahan’s experience as a consultant engaging with credit unions of all sizes around the country all year tells us organizations that are willing to think ahead are often those also doing well right now.
They’re figuring out efficiencies that make their operations less costly, and they’re supporting investment and deployment of solutions that help better serve their members. That might be why there’s such a differential in member and loan growth rates among CUSO and non-CUSO credit unions.
Managing day-to-day operations requires a strategic mindset, but making time to talk about strategy is difficult. Callahan & Associates helps leadership teams focus on what’s important. Learn more at Callahan.com/strategylab.
Certainly, these successful credit unions put parameters around their appetite for risk and adjust those parameters to their ever-shifting realities. That’s true in their own delivery of products and services to their members and in their CUSO participation.
They’re keeping their eye on the prize, which in this case is getting out in front of the competition when it comes to understanding emerging technologies and taking them to market if and when the time is right.
CO-OP did that with shared branching. CU Direct with indirect lending. PSCU with card processing. These are just three examples. Right now, Callahan is staying tuned to the new wave, to CUSOs like CULedger in the blockchain space and OnApproach in advanced analytics.
Investors in those CUSOs are willing to experiment, and willing to possibly fail, with an understanding that in today’s environment, where change happens fast, you have to get out front to not fall behind.
CUSOs provide the platform for doing that. Are you willing to commit resources — people and dollars — to ride that ride? That’s not a yes-no question. But it’s one you need to ask yourself as each opportunity and challenge emerges, in your institution and in the marketplace alike.