Laura Townsend


Laura has 25 years of experience in financial, accounting, cash management, and consumer/corporate payment product management at companies including a Big 4 accounting firm and the leading global quick service restaurant.  She is a resourceful problem-solver who delivers solutions that drive operational efficiencies and cost savings.  Laura has significant experience in relationship management and contract negotiations with market leaders to deliver best-in-class payment programs and strategies.  

Laura currently serves as an independent consultant to Merchant Advisory Group and the broader merchant community with a focus on strategic planning, payment operation optimization strategies, and cost savings opportunities specific to consumer payments and corporate cash management.  Previously, Laura led corporate cash, consumer payment, and global digital product management initiatives including emerging innovative consumer experience opportunities at McDonald’s Corporation most recently as the Senior Director, Global Cashless & Digital Products. 

Laura has held various leadership roles on external industry boards and special interest groups, including EMV Migration Forum, where she helped drive positive change in payments through multi-stakeholder collaboration and education among legislators.

Laura earned her B.S. degree in Accounting from Northern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant.