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Traditionally, litigation has been the norm for resolving disputes. It takes place in a public forum and face-to-face. In a global economy, however, such public and face-to-face dispute resolution is not feasible. This is especially true with cross-border purchases through e-commerce. E-commerce requires more efficient and less litigious remedy systems that allow consumers to obtain remedies on their purchases without the cost and travel associated with traditional face-to-face procedures. This has led to development of online dispute resolution (“ODR”) processes, especially with respect to business-to-consumer contracts. Accordingly, scholarship and policy papers have advanced ODR for the benefit of consumers. What deserves emphasis, however, is promotion of ODR to empower businesses that seek to attract customers globally. Establishment of trusted ODR systems incentivizes consumers to make cross-border purchases because it provides them with the comfort of knowing there is a cheap and easy means for obtaining a remedy if the purchase goes awry. This is especially important to assist businesses in developing nations, where Internet access is expanding through use of smartphones and similar mobile devices. Such mobile access is narrowing the so-called “digital divide” and fostering enthusiasm for building e-commerce, which is imperative for economic development and global integration. ODR can further these efforts by catalyzing consumer trust, and consequently cross-border sales. This article, therefore, encourages growth of global ODR that is accessible through mobile devices as means for increasing access to remedies and trustworthy e-commerce for companies and consumers in developing nations.



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