Melissa Townsley
CEO & Co-Founder
As one of GIACT’s two founders, Melissa has led GIACT since its founding and is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the company. With deep expertise in payment processing, risk mitigation and compliance, Melissa identified the need in the market for a new approach to identify and eliminate payments fraud as multiple industries increasingly began to rely on digital payments. Under her leadership, GIACT has grown to include a client roster of over 1,000 companies, many of them in the Fortune 500. Prior to founding GIACT in 2004, Melissa held a broad range of leadership positions across multiple departments including sales, customer service, claims payments and more during a 17-year career in the insurance industry. While the COO of iPromotion, she led new business development while it rapidly grew to $100 million in annual revenue in its first 18 months of operation. Outside of GIACT, Melissa is active in several nonprofits focused on improving the lives of children both locally and internationally. She has helped raise money to build schools in developing countries, send thousands of children to summer camp, and provide children in need with clothing, school supplies, and other essentials.

Merlin Bise
CTO & Co-Founder
Merlin is one of GIACT’s founders and is the technology visionary responsible for driving new product development. As a widely-recognized thought leader in the payments industry, Merlin applies his holistic understanding of payments and risk to create innovative solutions that have a proven track record for proactively identifying fraud and reducing payment risk. With deep experience in network security, infrastructure design, encryption, risk modelling, and designing and building risk engines, Merlin has spent much of his career combatting multiple types of payments and identity fraud. Prior to founding GIACT, Merlin was the chief technology innovator behind multiple successful businesses, including the first fully encrypted peer-to-peer video conferencing platform and a digital imaging solution for enterprise healthcare providers. Merlin is actively involved in coaching youth sports programs and volunteering in the Allen area.

Dave Foster
Dave joined GIACT in early 2016 and manages all aspects of finance and accounting at GIACT. With a broad range of roles encompassing public and private corporations, Dave has an established reputation for driving revenue growth, managing cost structures, and maximizing operating efficiencies throughout all phases of corporate development. He has served in finance leadership roles at Fiserv, Northern Trust, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Goodwill and has rich management experience including pre-IPO, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, and post-acquisition alignment and integration. Dave graduated from University of Minnesota Twin Cities and has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

David Barnhardt
EVP Product
David is responsible for directing product development for GIACT’s suite of fraud reduction and compliance solutions company-wide, including the EPIC Platform. With over 13 years of banking and payments expertise, he is a frequent contributor to industry publications and conferences and has authored multiple patents currently being used to identify fraud and account takeover and reduce payments risk. Most recently, David was the payment product manager at Early Warning. He has held numerous risk and fraud positions at Wachovia and Bank of America where, as an emerging risk executive, he oversaw retail and wholesale fraud prevention and was responsible for developing solutions for internal fraud, link analysis, and common point of purchase.

Teresa Biko
EVP, Client Relations
As EVP of Client Relations, Teresa is quickly expanding the company’s client relationship management team as GIACT continues to grow its customer base across the financial services, insurance, and retail sectors. She brings over 30 years of client service and corporate experience and over 23 years of payments experience to GIACT. Her previous roles include executive and management positions at JP Morgan Chase, VeriFone, and Ingenico. Most recently Teresa was executive director of strategic partnerships for Chase Paymentech, where she established an industry reputation as a visionary leader with a passion for delivering the highest levels of client service and inspiring excellence in all those around her. In her spare time, Teresa is an avid long-distance cyclist and volunteers at various organizations dedicated to helping children with special needs.