There are several online stores from where you can pick a digital birthday card for free. Some of these web sites requires a registration before you can access their collection of online birthday cards. But there are also several other sites who offer free birthday cards online and where you don't even have to register for accessing them. These online birthday greeting cards are available as digital images or Flash files if the cards are animated. Some of these cards are customizable and you can use programs like Photoshop to edit the card and send it on your friend's birthday as email attachments. But most online birthday cards are so complete that you wouldn't be requiring that at all.
But the online greeting card stores that requires that you register for a free account are the ones you should look to use for sending birthday greetings. These ecards web sites often have a online form wizard where you need to pick an image to be used on your online card and provide your details like your and your friend's names and email addresses. And when you are done, you get an online birthday card ready to be dispatched to your friend on his or her birthday. You can even schedule the timing when the ecard is to be send.
It's true that paper cards have it's own value and there are many people who still would probably love to receive a real birthday card on his birthday but it's no denying that free online birthday cards are finding more and more users everyday.