A Significant Difference
The short answer is yes and the difference for credit unions can be significant. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence from credit unions that their use of CUSOs has helped them improve their services to their members, often at lower costs. Few credit unions empirically measure the financial performance difference a CUSO makes so it is easy for some credit unions to discount the advantages of using CUSOs.
Jay Johnson, President of Callahan Financial Services and a NACUSO Director, and I (Guy Messick) have been searching for a way to measure the CUSO advantage through industry statistics. Can we use industry data to determine whether the use of CUSOs by credit unions correlates to better financial performance as compared to credit unions that do not use CUSOs?