I’ve had this question many times from merchants that are wanting to ensure that they can still capture credit card information if their Point of Sale (POS) or terminal are unable to connect. With more an more merchants now processing via internet connections instead of a land line, this happens more than you would imagine.
There are other methods that a business can employee should your POS system go down. For example, a mobile enabled processing method (many providers provide this at no charge) or a back-up square device. Can you still use a “knuckle buster” (or other manual method) and still be PCI compliant? The answer is basically, yes. When accepting credit card payments you have to comply with all of the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements. If you make an imprint of the card for business purposes, then you must secure that in accordance with the DSS’s physical security rules, which are found in Requirement 9, “Restrict Physical Access to Cardholder Data.”