That's conspiracy theory bullshit. But cash is bad for every business, without them all getting together and conspiring. Even back in the days when we were allowed to use personal cheques (with cheque guarantee cards), most businesses were more than happy to accept them, even though the banks charged them a small premium when paying them in.
If you were a trader, having those cheques stolen was nearly as bad as having cash stolen, but it wasn't very likely to happen because the cheques were made out to you and were worthless to a thief. Less cash in the till means a lower chance of loss from hold-ups, but much more significantly - less opportunity for staff fiddling (which I'd guess is a significant loss for any organisation dealing in cash) and, as a bonus, maybe lower insurance premiums.
The whole credit card system sounds crazy if you don't realise just how expensive handling money can be. But the banks managed to sell the idea to the retailers. We take 5% of your turnover (or more!), and you are relieved of the expense and risk of holding and handling such large amounts of cash.
Cash is dangerous. Cash is anonymous. Cash is virtually untraceable (except with preparation). Cash is anarchy.
Use cash, brothers. Be free.
--- Where's the "The Revolution Starts Here!" icon?