The software, developed with a supplier called Divine, will help about 2,500 ABN staff share information, news and documents more rapidly.
The bank said the instant messaging facility, called Mindalign, will help it to increase revenues by allowing staff to share information in real time and also reduce the volume of e-mails.
The roll-out of Mindalign to ABN offices in 17 countries is the first phase of the project. The software will then be rolled out to more than 45 countries.
Instant messaging technology has been adopted by a number of financial institutions, which see it as a useful and more secure alternative to e-mail. It also allows groups of staff to communicate and collaborate on projects in real time.
Reuters, the global information services and news provider, is developing an instant messaging technology service in partnership with 25 financial institutions and Microsoft.
The application will be rolled out to 13,000 Reuters staff by June and will become commercially available in the autumn.
Analysts said instant messaging systems were ideal for companies with an international presence. "[Instant messaging systems] should be more secure for the enterprise than e-mail," said Daniel Mayo, lead financial services technology analyst for Datamonitor. "A lot of banks are looking at this [technology type]. It's pretty good for sales guys who can work together on a more collaborative basis."
Andy Konchan, director of e-commerce at ABN Amro, said, "Any new technology that we roll out must be easy to use and provide instant benefits to the organisation."