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I was wondering if there's a good way to setup some kind of scheme with Stellar to implement recurring payments without resorting to e.g. escrow accounts with pre-arranged timed transactions.

I've seen some interesting hacks with e.g. payment channels on stellar but this one seems a bit more challenging. This would be awesome for any type of SAAS business where the whole point is recurring revenue without hassle for either side.

Requirements would be:

  • should be easy to setup and explain to end users
  • agree once, and then regular payments should happen automatically until the agreement is cancelled. Or alternatively, pre-sign e.g. 12 or 24 timed transactions.
  • it should be possible to cancel for the user
  • ideally, it should be possible to have other transactions in between on the same account. Having to have dedicated account key pairs per subscription would create a lot of hassle/friction and kind of defeats the purpose of convenience.
  • it should not be necessary to have more funds in the account then needed for the next payment.
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    I created a platform to handle timed and reccurring payments. See here smartstellar.org I also provide multi-payments via csv-upload. Do you have a specific usecase for timed payments? – bluesky Feb 28 at 15:31
  • I've had this use case in my head for a while about doing some kind of donation platform with a blockchain. Recurring payments and convenience are critical for that as you don't want a lot of friction around people making regular donations. – Jilles van Gurp Mar 1 at 10:16
  • This seems more like a "please build a SaaS" request than a question about Stellar, I'm not sure this is the right venue. It would be a good service, but I'm not sure what answers you're expecting to receive. – Carl Vitullo Mar 1 at 16:15
  • I'm simply asking whether what I describe above is at all possible. I suspect not though what bluesky describes goes a few steps in the right direction and is informative. – Jilles van Gurp Mar 1 at 22:24
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There's definitely a lot of ways to go about doing this, but to get the user experience that you're looking for would definitely require several abstractions on top of Stellar. Likely this would mean focusing on the user interaction of how they sign transactions for the future (pre-signed transactions with time bounds seems like a good choice if you want to avoid an escrow account) and when they get published, or some form of custodianship of keys (of course, doing it in a non-custodial way would be great!).

Most importantly, at the core level it doesn't make sense to have this as functionality — they're mostly primitives to enable you to use simple building blocks, such as creating those pre-signed transactions and submitting them. But the mechanism for getting a user to automatically opt in has a lot of varying requirements depending on the relationship between parties (maybe I want to sign off on all of my payments before they go out, or maybe I don't care if money is just pulled out of my account and I want to trust a third party to audit the amount charged), and it really is up to various apps to come up with the best UX that serves their users needs.

tl;dr: Depends on the users, is a large topic with a lot of potential ways to go.

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