What is Credit Card Interest?

Legal Definition
Credit card interest is the principal way in which credit card issuers generate revenue. A card issuer is a bank or credit union that gives a consumer (the cardholder) a card or account number that can be used with various payees to make payments and borrow money from the bank simultaneously. The bank pays the payee and then charges the cardholder interest over the time the money remains borrowed. Banks suffer losses when cardholders do not pay back the borrowed money as agreed. As a result, optimal calculation of interest based on any information they have about the cardholder's credit risk is key to a card issuer's profitability. Before determining what interest rate to offer, banks typically check national, and international (if applicable), credit bureau reports to identify the borrowing history of the card holder applicant with other banks and conduct detailed interviews and documentation of the applicant's finances.
-- Wikipedia