FOREST GROVE, Ore. — Collaboration with CUSOs continues to be a key strategy for credit unions to compete on a wider scale.

According to data compiled by Merger Solutions Group, investments in CUSOs climbed from 23.11% to 28.70% between 2004 and 2006. Insurance and mortgage CUSOs were among the top used CUSOs in 2006 while travel services and title insurance rounded out the bottom of the list. One interesting trend, the data showed, is while investment value in CUSOs is increasing, the cash outlay percentage and the number of new credit unions participants appears to be declining.