Credit Union Success Belongs to the People


Regarding the April 29 Data Analytics section article, “NACUSO: Do CUSOs Really Make a Difference?“:

When I was young, I was sure my success was based on consuming three peppermint patties every day – super food, and it was the magic ingredient for all things called success. Until one day my doctor related three peppermint patties more to my diabetes than anything else. Darn it, I was sure I was going to have a long career as a spokesman for dark chocolate and sugar. How could I be so wrong about the connection? You have to be careful. And that is why I am always careful when it comes to credit unions too. Credit unions and their members do a lot of work to be successful, and connecting the dots between their success and a single ingredient seems a bit misguided. Could it be as simple as hooking up with a CUSO?

So when I saw this white paper come across my desk, I was a bit surprised that NACUSO was drawing this picture for the markets to consider. Could it be as simple at this? CUSOs help CUs do a bit better than the other guy? Could it be as simple as firms with a customer-owner, win-win architecture lead to a small advantage in some cases? Could it be possible that combining tech with additional operational resources means that business is more complex than just plugging into the net? Is there really an advantage to all of this stuff?

Something to ponder. But one thing is certain, at CU*Answers we take no credit for the success of our partners and allies in trying to serve members. That belongs simply to the people – members and staff – that believe a customer-owner is the missing ingredient for success. Make more, make winners every day, and leave the peppermint patties to misguided souls like me.


  • Randy Karnes

    From 1994 to 2021, Mr. Karnes was CEO of CU*Answers, a credit union-owned CUSO that provides core processing, consulting, management, and technology services. An active participant in the credit union industry since 1985, Mr. Karnes currently serves on the Boards of Xtend and eDOC Innovations and formerly served on the Board of Callahan and Associates for many years. Mr. Karnes has an infectious vision and drive for bringing credit unions together to explore the power of collaboration in entirely new ways. His enthusiasm for imagining and building new credit union business models has been helping to change the way many credit unions will approach serving members now and in the future.

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