From increasing services to mitigating risks, the benefits of partnering with CUSOs and other vendors run the gamut, experts say.

However, the dangers credit unions face if they fall asleep at the wheel when it comes to monitoring third-party relationships are similar.

"From a compliance standpoint, the credit union is liable to its members and its regulators for the actions or inactions of the vendors with which it does business," said Amanda Smith, a partner with Messick & Lauer PC, a Media, Pa.-based law firm that specializes in assisting credit unions and CUSOs.

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