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Lipman Electronics enters m-commerce

Product combines cellphone with wireless payment terminal that clears credit and smart cards

Lipman Electronic Engineering announced its entry into the field of m-commerce.

The company has developed a product called Nurit 8000 that combines a cellular phone with a small electronic wireless payment terminal for the clearing of credit and smart cards. Its solution is intended for the mobile electronic commerce market.

The system supports all traditional payment methods, and has complete access to the Internet.

Lipman's president Isaac Angel said that on top of the company's product's capability that enables roaming business people to transact business whilst on the road, Lipman also added some nonpayment business management functions.

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Angel assesses that the electronic clearing market is growing at the rate of over 50% a year, and is expected to reach a total of $2 billion by the end of 2005.

He adds that orders already exist, and that the company expects to start delivering the new product to some large U.S retail chains by early March.

Lipman shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a market cap of $63 million. During 2000 the share showed negative returns of 46%. Although sales doubled over the first nine months of 2000 compared to the corresponding period, and revenue totaled NIS 188 million, bottom line suffered. Company earnings were down to NIS 34 million for the first three quarters compared with NIS 64 million for the equivalent quarters of 1999. The drop was explained by the steep increase in management and marketing expenses.